I agree with Robert J. Samuelson [“The end of entitlement,” op-ed, April 29] that the United States’ entitlement “mind-set” is a social malady, probably inspired by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and enhanced by the decades of prosperity after World War II.

I doubt that the recent less-than-satisfactory economic experience, featuring chronic high unemployment and underemployment, has extinguished that misbegotten mentality. It is certainly reflected in our conflicting demands for physical safety and gun rights; a volunteer military that does the unpleasant task of killing hostile foreigners for us, without worrying too much about the troubles, such as PTSD, that beset these warriors after they return home; good health and medical care, but abysmal eating habits and no discomfiting exercise. And on and on it goes. No, I don’t think we’re anywhere near out of the woods yet. 

Albert Hirsch, Chevy Chase