Jeanna Whiting hit home with her analysis in "More effort needed" (Your Views, Sept. 11).
Our story is similar as that of millions of hard-working Americans who consider any form of welfare or food stamps a defeat of the work ethic instilled into us by our parents. Our ancestors came from all over the world to America and instilled in each of us a sense of pride and self-reliance. We believe the inability to take care of ourselves and our families is a defeat.
We worked two, three, four or more jobs to make ends meet. We used vacations as an opportunity to earn additional income. Getting by on our own was of paramount importance. No job was too menial, and no pay was too small.
We persevered and progressed to greater heights on our own merit. We educated ourselves at night school and paid for our children's education through savings, not loans.
That was then, and this is now.
Welfare, disability, extended unemployment, and food stamps are no longer a shame or disgrace but an entitlement people receive without any concern that this relief is at the expense of others who are innocent of a legal obligation to support them.
There are some needy people who recognize the benefits they receive come at the expense of their fellow Americans, and they strive to get on their feet to achieve greater independence from the stigma of relying on others for their support.
However, there is a growing class of Americans that believes they are entitled to free anything that they can take from society at the expense of others.
We need to get back to the work ethic of the past. Our forefathers came to this country with very little. They had no welfare, Medicare or food stamps — just their own devices that with hard work and extraordinary effort enabled them to succeed.
These qualities live on in families like Jeanna Whiting and millions of other Americans whose struggles to succeed are hampered by the need to also provide for the new entitlement generation. We need less of the entitlement generation and an expansion of the values that built our country before the onslaught of entitlements.