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ArtiqueFox's avatar

We've all seen 'em. The "you deserve..." commercials. Are these commericals accurate? Do we deserve or are we entitled to the better?

Asked by ArtiqueFox (974points) February 22nd, 2010

Do we have a right to the latest and the improved of whatever product? Do we really deserve what we have? Are we really “worthy” of better [insert product name here]? Are we just lucky to be born where we are or do we have rights to what we have? Does nature have an obligation to bestow us with prosperity?

To get to the point: Are the “you deserve it” commercials just flattering or do they contain truth? I’m not trying to have a bash America session here (please keep your answers universal), but is humanity entitled to advantage and prosperity? Or should people just be humble about the food and water they have?

Do the people who come out of college expecting the world to bow at their feet have justification? Do [spoiled] people who expect life to “owe up” and dump lollipops at their feet have any right of logical support? Or are they…full of it?

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22 Answers

susanc's avatar

Oh it’s just utter bullshit. It’s probably based on all those heinous self-help books from the financially obese 80’s when everyone was building McMansions and Reagan was empowering the economy by trading guns for hostages and invading tiny islands etc and everyone thought they “deserved” everything because they were getting so much without even knowing why. Hideous.

ChaoSS's avatar

Oh for f’s sake, what do you think? Show some common sense.

These are marketing ads to get you to buy it.

And I don’t know, what do you think? Its your life, do you think you deserve better?

escapedone7's avatar

Of course! Because I’m worth it! I deserve a break today!

janbb's avatar

@ArtiqueFox Good question. Of course it is a marketing ploy but I agree with you that it is playing into an attitude of entitlement that is being inculcated in our society. (Either that or it’s a conspiracy. :-))

ChaosCross's avatar

I think this would be mostly opinionated. No we don’t. People can be nice and charming fellows sure, but when it comes down too it we are all still humans who either deserve things made my a ruler’s standard or out own.

escapedone7's avatar

Forget the commercials. They contain no truth. I am sure you could devote an entire encyclopedia to the growing cultural trend toward a false sense of entitlement and all the forms it takes. We all do take many things for granted in life. During certain catastrophes, like after a hurricane hits, people may for the first time in their lives experience something like living a week without electricity and sewage. It takes an experience like that usually to change our perspective. During such events we get a shocking lesson about how much we take for granted. Sometimes you really don’t appreciate what you have until you have experienced life without it,. Many wonderful things have been provided to us since birth. We are a little spoiled. We are blessed, and lucky, and gleaning rewards people before us earned, worked for, developed, created, and bestowed upon us.Hopefully we will pave the way for an even better future, and learn to be grateful for it. Some people though are reversing the trend, and truly believe there are times when less is more. I was reading the blog of someone who calls himself a minimalist just today. I thought it was an interesting contrast to pop culture.

shadling21's avatar

Sure, we deserve it! Sure, we’re worthy! Why the hell not?

Every human deserves to be happy. That doesn’t mean, though, that we should expect it to come easily. And that doesn’t mean that we should act immorally to achieve it. We should be realistic and considerate of our fellow humans and nature.

Those commercials make it all about owning things to achieve happiness. Owning certain things, like food and shelter, is integral to achieving that happiness. Maybe the latest iPod is less integral. But we certainly have a right to it.

Maybe in a communist society, there are different property laws. But here in North America, and in all countries of the United Nations, yes, we actually have a right to own and keep property.

Jeruba's avatar

I think the endless stream of advertisements that tell you what you deserve, together with a steady onslaught of assurances from greeting card makers many times a year that “you” are more special than anyone else, have a large share of responsibility to bear for the epidemic of entitlement that has permeated and significantly weakened our social structures.

RandomMrdan's avatar

Can anyone provide a link to these commercials? I’m not familiar with these commercials (I don’t watch much broadcast television).

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

I deserve a break today…
though McDonald’s has nothing to do with it

RandomMrdan's avatar

yeah, I’m fairly certain there isn’t a whole lot of genuine content to these commercials, they just want your money… not sure why I had to see those commercials to come to that conclusion though, haha.

susanc's avatar

@shadling21 – “Maybe the iPod is less integral. But we certainly have a right to it”.

Surely you jest. No one has a “right” to have an iPod. No one has a
“right” to have anything. In this country the Constitution tries its best to guarantee us the right to these abstractish conditions: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Not the iPod of happiness, just the pursuit of the iPod of happiness. That’s all we’re guaranteed (and we still have to fight for this stuff from time to time).

Good lord.

shadling21's avatar

The problem is that we are constantly told that we NEED these things to feel happy. We think that deserving translates to need or desire. In the Declaration of Human Rights that I linked to above, it is noted that, by being human, we deserve to own property. Not everyone agrees with this, but if you live in a country that is a member of the UN, your country supports this belief.

shadling21's avatar

This question bothers me because there are so few speaking up for the other side of the debate. I haven’t even made up my own mind, but I’m playing devil’s advocate for the time being.

Let’s note that you can accept your right to property with due humility and appreciation for the freedom you’ve been granted. Property isn’t free and easy. And it may not be moral to own property or encourage production of certain items. But do you really think that you don’t deserve an iPod? If you wanted one and worked hard for it, and you fully believe that no one would be harmed by owning one, shouldn’t you be able to buy an iPod? If someone then stole that iPod, would you not be miffed? You deserved that iPod because you earned the money to purchase it.

It’s so easy to criticize people for wanting things (and ad agencies for taking advantage of that desire).

PS: @susanc “In this country” – I’m Canadian.

shadling21's avatar

One last note. From the question’s description:
“Are we just lucky to be born where we are or do we have rights to what we have?”

Why are these considered mutually exclusive? I feel lucky and grateful, but I also recognize that my circumstances were earned by the hard work of my parents, and I feel that they have a right to own what they have given me.

K. I’ll stop. Someone else talk.

MissAnthrope's avatar

First, I really hate commercials. I find them brain-numbing, stupid, overwhelming piles of horse poo. Marketing is pretty much the devil incarnate and I feel it is responsible for a slew of social ills.

That said, I have seen these “you deserve” commercials recently and found myself somewhat perturbed. I don’t like the message that people inherently deserve unnecessary material possessions. It’s kind of ridiculous.

I feel people deserve basic human rights, to be treated fairly and equally, and to have access to ways to pursue health and happiness. Maybe my perspective is just different, but I find the latter to be of much greater importance than whether I have the biggest flatscreen or the most expensive car.

Berserker's avatar

They just want your money.

Kraigmo's avatar

I’ve never seen that commercial but the whole “reward yourself” thing in America is way overblown.

YARNLADY's avatar

I avoid commercials as much as possible, but in answer to your question, everyone deserves to spend the money they earn on anything they can afford. Why wouldn’t they?

susanc's avatar

@shadling21: I was rude. I apologize. Yes, of course if you work for your money you can buy anything you want with it. On either side of the border. As so often happens, @YARNLADY has said what I mean.

escapedone7's avatar

After reconsidering this question, and rethinking some really bad experiences where I actually feel I paid someone to “abuse” me, I think I will change my stance.

We do have certain rights according to the law, as human beings, and according to moral conventions. These are some things I believe violated my rights. I believe I deserve (how does one italicise? ) <i>deserve</>, that my rights are respected.

Airports. Sometimes passengers are loaded onto a plane, and then because of some problem forced to sit on the tarmac for hours. HOURS. In the worst scenarios I have heard, there was no air conditioning, passengers were sitting for 4 hours on a plane that they could not get off of, and were denied the use of bathroom facilities. People who asked to be allowed to go back into the airport to (get another flight, rent a car, find another option) were denied the opportunity to get off the plane and just sit there. I’m pretty sure at some point airports are routinely breaking the Geneva convention. I believe I deserve to be allowed to LEAVE a parked plane after 3 hours if I request to abandon their service.

Many times I paid for a service and felt abused, disrespected, and violated by abusive staff. In such instances I don’t want to be held against my will. I <i>deserve</i> the opportunity to leave a service that sucks walk out the door and go find another option that I am happier with. I love to take amtrak. Tee hee.

Similarly, I really hate being locked into contracts that turn out to be a terrible option for me. I always honor my contracts, but I do believe I deserve to be able to choose a better service if one service I am paying for is terrible compared to a competitor.

When I go to the doctor, at times I have had trouble hearing a diagnosis or directions because I have hearing problems. I feel I do have a right to request said directions in writing, if I make it clear that I have hearing problems and it would help me better understand the directions. My doctor has always complied or had a nurse or assistant give me something in writing. I feel like that is my right,. I think I deserve to have things in writing.

I believe I have a right to ask for records of my health, insurance, billing, or other account information kept on me with a company, proof of a bill I owe, and other things. And yes, I think I deserve that if I have been paying them money.

I believe I have a right to not be subject to phone harassment by pushy sales representatives, if I ask them politely around 20 times to stop calling and my name is on the do not call list. I believe I have this right because of the invention of the do not call list, and… the legal definition of phone harassment in my state. And yes, I believe I deserve to be left alone.

I do not believe I deserve a big mac, or a hair color kit, or a car , just because I am awesome. I believe if I work hard, earn money, I can do what I want with it though.

I believe I have a right to and deserve some things, yes.

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