4) Yes, you MAY get Social Security and Medicare, although given the size of our deficit, you can't count on those programs long-term unless we have serious reform. Yet and still, that's probably not going to be enough money for you to live on. To live in comfort, you're going to need more money than that. You should be setting it aside now unless being a greeter at Wal-Mart when you're 80 has a lot of appeal to you.
5) Your life is your responsibility. Whether you end up rich or broke, drunk or sober, in jail or free, successful or a failure -- it's all the fault of the person looking back at you in the mirror. If things go wrong, don't blame your country, your government, your parents, your spouse, the political party you don't like, bad luck, being born under the wrong sign -- you did it. Own it so that you can do something about it.
6) Would your mother be proud of the person you are today? Can people trust you to do the right thing? If you weren't around and they were being honest, would your friends, your children, or your local pastor say you were a good person? No matter what rules, standards, and laws are in place, they're no good unless the people are good. No one's perfect, but if you're not a fundamentally decent person, you're not a responsible adult.
7) This country was here before you were born and it'll be here after you die. You have a solemn duty to leave this nation better than you found it, if only by refusing to sponge off your fellow citizens.
8) If you're not an informed voter, if you don't know who Joe Biden is, which party is pro-life or which party is pro-abortion, or which party is pushing for low gas prices and which party prefers high gas prices, you shouldn't vote. You don't have a responsibility to vote; you have a responsibility to be an informed voter. Learn what's going on or don't vote.
9) If life is a game, then the Constitution is the set of rules we play by in this country. And guess what? People cheat all the time. Not only is it unfair to cheat, those rules have made us the most successful country the world has ever seen. The more those rules are bastardized, the less successful our nation is going to be. You don't have to become a constitutional scholar, but take the time to learn something about the Constitution. It'll help make you a good American.
10) The sad truth of the matter is that you can get a high school degree along with a college degree and STILL be woefully ignorant of history, economics, and how the world works. That's why you have to continue to educate yourself if you want to be wise.
11) If you get upside down on your mortgage, that's a tough break -- for you. Your house is your responsibility and nobody else should have to pay a dime on it, especially other people who're paying their own mortgages.
12) It's not the government's job to pay your bills, find you a job, and keep you living in the style to which you've grown accustomed. There are people who work crummy jobs just to keep some money coming in, work 2 jobs, or even move to a better area to find work. That may not be pleasant, but paying your bills is a responsibility that ultimately rests on your shoulders.
13) You don't need the government to ban trans fat or build a new grocery store in your area because you're in a "food desert." Eat what you want and take the consequences.
14) You don't want the responsibility for your own health care because you think it's too expensive? Wait and see how much it costs when the government gives it to you for "free." Then see how well your decisions about your own health match up with the ones made by some faceless bureaucrat in D.C. Here's a hint: You're interested in you. They're interested in saving the government money. Your interests, even in cases of life or death, will not always coincide.
15) If you went $80,000 in debt to get a philosophy degree from a private school and now you're stuck working at the Waffle House because nobody's impressed with your mastery of Kant, you don't have anyone but yourself to blame. Pay for your own college loans.