Fear of Missing Out
Amity Shlaes, author of The Forgotten Man and the new book on Coolidge, talked about this subject at an e21 event last week called "How You Can Say No on Entitlements." Video of the panel is here. Basically, she said it's not that everyone wants or even needs hand-outs. They just don't want to be left out when they see others (perhaps less deserving) getting them. She compared it to being at an airport and hearing an announcement about a gate change. When everyone around you gets up and starts walking to the new gate, you get up and walk, too. Maybe later you find out it wasn't your flight, but that didn't stop you from trying to be the first one at the new gate.