Entitlement

The belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.

The news is full of stories about American exceptionalism, international bullying and racist immigration policies. Daily, we see able-bodied people using handicapped parking spots and cars parking in dedicated bike lanes. People demand special privileges all the time, for no reason other than their certainty of being deserving.

We are polarized because of our political or religious beliefs, to the point that we completely disregard those who don’t agree with us. Countries go to war over as much. Corporations continue to produce petroleum products while the planet burns. We feel entitled to do as we want to get what we deserve.

We place our desires above all else, and do whatever we need to in acquiring them. The ends justify the means. I am convinced this sense of entitlement is at the root of most of humanity’s problems. This may be no more prevalent anywhere than in how cities house people.

Entitlement on steroids

As entitled homeowners band together in resident associations to apply political pressure to elected officials, the resulting lack of density drives the price of available real estate out of reach of many. Urban sprawl, traffic gridlock, pollution result. The entitled homeowners keep their neighbourhoods restricted to only those who can afford the inflated property values, and everyone else has to move to the suburbs and spend hours a day shortening their lives with a couple hours or more of commuting.

NIMBY comment
A NIMBY comment typical of privileged homeowners
Originally, I posted a link to this article on Twitter and only noticed the comment to the left when re-reading it, so I retweeted my original post with it. So many wrong takes in a couple sentences. Greater Victoria amalgamation wouldn’t be like Vancouver, which isn’t a mega-city like Toronto. More importantly they somehow think densifying Cordova Bay makes residents lose. Put more accurately, this homeowner thinks more density and homeowners lose property value.

To be sure, Saanich council’s opposition to density is hardly the ONLY reason for this over budget monstrosity of an interchange at McKenzie and the Trans-Canada Highway. However, the builder cited in the article makes a good point. When municipal governments cave to taxpayer pressure and don’t densify their cities, development sprawls and people buy the cheaper homes and end up driving downtown to work.

Project reduces idling & fuel use leading to lower GHG emissions. Plus we will say what BC govt can’t – #Saanich council regularly opposed density, undermining LRT & pushed new housing to the West Shore, creating need for interchange.

Next time you encounter unpleasant or arrogant behaviour, see if you can spot the entitlement. I’ll bet it’s there.