Friday, November 1, 2013

RIGHTS, RIGHTS AND RIGHTS

So, how much does speech cost? If you are close to normal, it is free. In other words, speech is not a commodity. One does not go out and purchase speech.

We could say virtually the same thing about getting together with friends or to make a point to our leaders, having and expressing religious ideas and sharing what we know with others. Those are called “assembly,” “religion,” and the press, respectively.

You don’t buy unalienable rights. Once purchased (by bloodshed, if necessary), they do not have to be paid for again. They are free.

In language, we have to make distinctions between various ideas. Things you don’t buy but are able to exercise without interference are called rights. Things you have to pay money for are called commodities.

Americans do not have to buy their right to speech, their right to their religion, or their right to print what they want to print. They do not have to purchase their right to bear arms, their right to refuse the quartering of soldiers, the right to be secure against unwarranted search and seizure. They don’t buy their right to due process, their freedom from self-incrimination, their right to speedy trial if accused of a crime, their right to be free from double jeopardy, or their right to reasonable bail. They don’t purchase their right to keep their rights and to protect the rights of others and their right to be free to do anything not expressly prohibited by the Constitution. Those rights are not granted by the Constitution, but are recognized by the Constitution.

Rights are the recognition by government that there are certain things they can neither grant nor prohibit. That’s what rights are. If the government can require, provide it or prohibit it, it is not a right.

Commodities, on the other hand, are purchased. I go to the grocery store to purchase my food. I do not have a right to food. If I want food I have to grow it or buy it. If I want a car, I have to earn enough money to buy one.

I am free to choose whether to by food or a car. Nobody forces me to buy either. Since neither is prohibited by the Constitution, I can make that choice freely and of my own accord.

Now the government has dictated that I have a “right” to health (something that on their best day they cannot provide for me) and that I must purchase a commodity to “insure” it. Apparently, the government of the United States has decided that it has the right to decide what a right is and what is a right.

What, then, are the limits of the rights the government can bestow upon me. Can they decide I have a right to a house? Can they decide I have a right to a car? Can they decide I have a right to food? If they can decide these things, can they decide how much I pay for each? Can they decide what kind of each I can buy? How far can we take that concept and still dare to call ourselves a people of liberty?

Maybe, as long as the government is filled with kind, reasonable people, they can make those kinds of decisions without doing too much harm…maybe. But what if the government is infiltrated with people who are not so kind and not so reasonable? What if they overreach? Who decides when they have overreached?

The outcome could be very different. And it will be.

9 comments:

Duckys here said...

I don't know where to start

Xavier Onassis said...

Ducky - Let's start with this zinger from our buddy Jo Joe...

"You don’t buy unalienable rights. Once purchased..."

Wait...what? You don't buy them, but you purchase them?

Do they not have dictionaries in Florida? Because I'm pretty sure "buy" and "purchase" are synonyms.

But enough gratuitous nitpicking. On to the substance.

"Rights are the recognition by government that there are certain things they can neither grant nor prohibit. That’s what rights are."

Really?

So if a government recognizes that you HAVE a right, the government can't grant or prohibit that right.

What if the government DOESN'T recognize that you have that right? Does that mean they CAN grant or prohibit that right?

Your argument is invalid.

By recognizing or not recognizing your rights,the government has the de facto power to grant or prohibit rights!

It's all very well for the Declaration of Independence to state that "...that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."

But that wouldn't be the case if the government didn't say so.

Do the citizens of North Korea, Saudi Arabia or China have the same rights as you?

No. They don't. Why? Because their government doesn't grant them those rights.

The only rights you have are the rights the government says you have.

Oh, sure. You can make that "God given" claim.

Argue that in court and see how far you get.

Joe said...

Ducky: That's not all you don't know.

XO: "...You don't buy them, but you purchase them?"

You don't buy them with money, you dolt. You might have to purchase them with blood, though. That's what we did. You remember, against England.

"Do the citizens of North Korea, Saudi Arabia or China have the same rights as you?"

Yes. All men are created equal. They are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Oh, oh. I quoted without attribution. Well, you figure it out. I'm quite certain you don't believe it.

Your explanation is exactly what our framers fought against. Exactly. That is the blood that was spilled to purchase the liberty to exercise our God-given rights as members of the human race.

Duckys here said...

Here's the issue, Joe. How do we as a society manage providing health insurance.

Now, you seem to feel that we leave everyone to the tender ministrations of the market even though the private market has proven UNABLE to manage the cost efficiently (as it does with many products).
You then insist that it is an unalienable right to get stiffed by the market because to do otherwise would violate your childish high school civics conception of society and government.

What you need to understand, Joe, is that as a nation we reject your Calvinist determinism and wish to live as prosperous civilized people.

Joe said...

Ducky: "...we leave everyone to the tender ministrations of the market..."

Why do you persist in pretending to know what I think?

We have not had tender ministrations of the market for health insurance in over 50 years. No wonder it "didn't work." Can't work something you don't have.

Turns out that I think people who are unable (key word) to provide for themselves should be provided for...not by the fed.

My view of who can provide for themselves and the federal government's idea are as different as night and day.

It is an atrocity to think that pre-existing conditions should be covered by insurance companies. They have no responsibility for them, nor should they be burdened with the cost of paying for them.

That would be like asking car insurance companies to pay for accidents that happened before the car owner had insurance.

I did NOT say that pre-existing conditions should not be addressed. Nor did I say they should not be taken care of.

I know how to lower the cost of health insurance for all of us through the private sector, without the help of the federal government.

The feds need to butt out.

Duckys here said...

It is an atrocity to think that pre-existing conditions should be covered by insurance companies. They have no responsibility for them, nor should they be burdened with the cost of paying for them.
------
An atrocity? Pretty strong, Joe.

A person has a chronic condition, loses a job and because of our insane system that ties insurance to employment they are out of luck even if it means chronic pain?

What a nerve of that person to expect to cut into the vigorish insurance companies take for doing nothing.

But you know how to cut costs of private insurance in a market that grants for profit insurers an antitrust exemption.Please tell.

No Joe, you have no idea at all and I must say you are an incredibly mean spirited individual.

Joe said...

Ducky: "...they are out of luck even if it means chronic pain?"

I know you have trouble reading, but tht's the opposite of what I said. You must have missed "I did NOT say that pre-existing conditions should not be addressed. Nor did I say they should not be taken care of."

You also missed the key word, even though I pointed it out: unable.

Sometimes I think you deliberately misstate things. Do you?

I don't think insurance companies should have to bear the burden.

Duckys here said...

Of course they should be addressed, Joe but you don't say how.

I will continue to ask you to explain how.

Joe said...

Ducky: OK. Go ahead. Ask.