Raw files are like diving boards, pretty flexible and can take being jumped on in post.
A better photographic analogy, already used (i.e. by Jeff Schewe) is to consider RAW as the "digital negative" and the RAW post processing something very alike Adam's Zone System, while shooting JPEGs is mostly like shooting reversal film.
With the former you can make decisions about exposure and development/printing to achieve the desired final result, which is always a combination of the both exposure and "development/printing" (now "post processing").
For example ETTR (Expose-To-The-Right) can be used, but of course needs post processing to achieve the final result.
With the latter, you need to get the image in "one shot", and in some kind of situations sacrifice details in highlights or shadows because of the smaller range.
Of course it's not an invite to be lazy - as someone pointed out - it's an invite to understand the digital medium fully and exploit its capabilities as well.
Maybe, sometimes can be used as a challenge to shot JPEG only - to be forced to concentrate more on exposure and lighting - and thus get used to apply the same experience to RAWs - but for any important work, shooting RAW will lead to better images when everything went right, and save those that for any reason something went wrong.
And like old negatives could be re-printed using newer technologies and achieve results once impossible, RAW can as well be re-processed as soon as new technologies arise that may improve the final image.