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Milton J. Madison - An American Refugee Now Living in China, Where Liberty is Ascending

Federalism, Free Markets and the Liberty To Let One's Mind Wander. I Am Very Worried About the Fate of Liberty in the USA, Where Government is Taking people's Lives ____________________________________________________________________________________________ "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Tolerance in the face of tyranny is no virtue." -Barry Goldwater-

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Bogus Rights....

Getting away from the silly Muslim cartoon insanity, and Iran's incredibly belligerent dangerous posturing, its time to get back to something truly important.

Bogus rights like the "right" to medical care and housing, etc. have always bothered me. Why being born an American does one have the right to anything other than life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? People around the globe are born into unequal economies and therefore get unequal benefits but what drives one to think that being born in the United States somehow gives one these "rights?" The problem is that we actually do not have these rights.
Do people have a right to medical treatment whether or not they can pay? What about a right to food or decent housing? Would a U.S. Supreme Court justice hold that these are rights just like those enumerated in our Bill of Rights? In order to have any hope of coherently answering these questions, we have to decide what is a right. The way our Constitution's framers used the term, a right is something that exists simultaneously among people and imposes no obligation on another. For example, the right to free speech, or freedom to travel, is something we all simultaneously possess. My right to free speech or freedom to travel imposes no obligation upon another except that of non-interference. In other words, my exercising my right to speech or travel requires absolutely nothing from you and in no way diminishes any of your rights.

Contrast that vision of a right to so-called rights to medical care, food or decent housing, independent of whether a person can pay. Those are not rights in the sense that free speech and freedom of travel are rights. If it is said that a person has rights to medical care, food and housing, and has no means of paying, how does he enjoy them?
Creating these "rights" has created an environment of entitlement. People grow up thinking that they deserve this largesse and someone owes it to them. They even get angry when they don't get their handout or if it come a little bit too slow for their liking. Between 60-70% of all US government federal spending are transfers of wealth from one individual to another. Why do we choose to live in an environment like that?

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