FT98: “The difference between a right and an entitlement is that other people don’t have to pay for a right.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 30th, 2011

Fundamental Truth

Our Rights are Free to Enjoy because no one must Suffer any Burden for us to Enjoy these Rights

The Roman Empire fell because of high taxes.  The Americans declared their independence from the British Empire because of high taxes.  The French Revolution erupted over high taxes.  Warren Harding won the 1920 presidential election because of high taxes.  Ronald Reagan won the 1980 presidential election because of high taxes.  Both Harding and Reagan were tax cutters.  The moral of this story?  People don’t like paying taxes.  Never have.  And never will.

The Bill of Rights contains the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution.  Some of these rights include the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech (First Amendment).  The right to keep and bear arms (Second Amendment).  Protection from quartering troops in our homes (Third Amendment).  Protection from unreasonable search and seizure (Fourth Amendment).  See a trend?

Our rights are free to enjoy.  That is, when we enjoy our rights it doesn’t cost anyone else.  When people speak their mind there isn’t an associated cost that goes with it that we must fund with taxes.  For people to be free to own a gun and keep it in their house there isn’t an associated tax to pay for that right.  There isn’t a line item in the federal budget to prevent soldiers from moving into my house during times of peace.  No.  These rights are free.  No one must suffer any burden for us to enjoy these rights.

A Right is not a License to Compel Others to do something Against their Will

Rights are God-given.  Meaning that no person may deny these rights to anyone.  We want these rights.  We enjoy these rights.  And the fact that they don’t cost anything to have and enjoy is especially nice.  Because as noted earlier people don’t like paying taxes.  They never have.  And never will.

But we do pay taxes.  For those things that are necessary and Constitutional.  Such as a strong military to protect and defend our country from enemies foreign and domestic.  We don’t enjoy paying these taxes.  But we do enjoy being safe and free from oppression.  So we can enjoy our Constitutional rights.

Now, when is a right not a right?  When it’s not guaranteed in our Constitution and/or there is a cost that others must bear.  For instance, I can’t go to an electronics store and take a large plasma TV and tell the clerk that it’s my right to have that TV.  Because it’s not a right.  (Or an entitlement.  Yet.)  Why?  For one it’s not in the Constitution.  And it’s not just because we didn’t invent them yet.  Even if they were around at the time of the framing of the Constitution the Founding Fathers would not have included them.  Because they have a cost.  For someone to have one as a right someone else must pay for it.  And if someone else must be compelled to provide something for you then it is not a right.  Because a right is not a license to compel others to do something against their will.  There’s another name for that.  Slavery.

Health Care, Pensions, Food, etc., are not Rights because they have Costs

So if you agree with me so far (and it would be hard not to if you’re being honest), then you must agree that housing, health care, pensions, food, etc., are not rights either.  Because they have costs.  And the only way for others to have these without paying for them is to compel others to pay for them against their will.  Which is, of course, slavery.  Something else that is forbidden by a Constitutional amendment.  The Thirteenth Amendment.

So providing these things to the poor is not and should not be required.  But it would be nice.  And it should be voluntary.  Like it was.  Once upon a time.  Before there were entitlements.  We called it charity.  And it worked.  Well.  Our ancestors, those beautiful rugged individualists, would laugh at us today for how we’ve made a mess of things.  Be disgusted to see how soft we’ve become.  And then probably spit on us with contempt.

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