Rights and wrongs

March 22, 2010

*guest blogger*

There has been a lot of talk recently about how health care is a ‘right.’  Let’s look into this a little more.

A Right is something that exists as part of the natural order of things and is not dependent on government.  The source of a Right is God, not Man.  This is why in our Declaration of Independence the phrasing was:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

These ‘natural’ rights were not limited to the above.  It should also be noted that there was much discussion as to whether “the pursuit of Happiness” or “Property” should end the sentence, but the right to property was certainly included in the unalienable rights.

The very foundation of our country was that we had a natural right to rebel against an unjust Government.

” That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Once again, Government is restricted by not violating the rights of the Individual.  The thoughts of the Declaration were followed by the Constitution, and then the Bill of Rights.  The Bill of Rights was not even thought to be necessary initially, as if you followed it as written you would not have the power to violate those rights, but it was thought wise later to specifically restrict government.  The Bill of Rights is a statement on what Government may not do, and set down some of the Natural rights we were assumed to always have to protect them from infringement.

Oh, how far we have come.  The Progressive movement is seeking to replace the Bill of Rights with a New Bill of Rights- in this case, a Positive (Government MUST do) as opposed to Negative (Government CANNOT) view of our Constitution.  This has actually been around for over 75 years.  From Wikipedia:

“The Second Bill of Rights was a proposal made by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt during his State of the Union Address on January 11, 1944 to suggest that the nation had come to recognize, and should now implement, a second bill of rights. Roosevelt did not argue for any change to the United States Constitution; he argued that the second bill of rights was to be implemented politically, not by federal judges. Roosevelt’s stated justification was that the “political rights” guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights had “proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.” Roosevelt’s remedy was to create an “economic bill of rights” which would guarantee:

Roosevelt stated that having these rights would guarantee American security, and that America’s place in the world depended upon how far these and similar rights had been carried into practice.”

The purpose of this second bill was to establish Government as the provider or guarantor of all these things.  We are well on our way to accepting this as the proper role of Government, at the cost of our economic and personal freedom.  These “rights” are granted by Government, not by God.

The big problem with Government as the provider is that you have to violate one man’s natural Rights (to property) to provide for a granted right (to a subsidy or payment.)  If you want to give someone free medical care, someone else has to pay for it.  If you take MY money, to give to another who has done nothing to earn it… you are no different than a thief, no matter how worthy the cause may seem.  We didn’t have a Government doing these things for the first half of our country’s history.  You worked, you saved, you paid for your home, your medical care, your recreation.  The idea that Government was responsible for your education is a fairly recent historical development, and the level of education now pales in comparison to what we used to give to our children.

The second problem is that you fundamentally can’t define what any of the above mean.  What exactly constitutes adequate medical care?  How much education should be guaranteed?  How many weeks vacation should you be given?  How big a home is enough?  The answer for this, as in all things Government, has nothing to do with “fairness” but remains political.  We’ve spent trillions of dollars in the War on Poverty, yet our poverty rate has not changed.  We DO have the highest standard of living for houses in poverty anywhere in the world, though!

For over a hundred years, Government has tried and failed to make things “equal and fair” using Socialism, Communism and Big Government.  It has failed to do so EVERY time.  Yet, despite the failures, we keep plugging ahead with it because we just “haven’t done it the right way yet.”  There IS no right way to run roughshod over natural rights.  In their Creation, each man has an inner drive to pursue his own freedom, his own path, and his own property.  Let’s try FREEDOM… it’s worked every time it is tried.

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