Statists argue that people have a right to health care. They say the same thing about housing, education, clothing, food, and retirement pay. Maybe a car too.
Well, if someone has a right to such things, then doesn’t that mean that someone else is required to provide them?
Let’s say that I need a medical operation. The statists tell me that I have a right to the operation.
Doesn’t that mean that I can force the doctor to perform it? How can he have the right to say no when that would be denying me my right to health care?
Suppose I don’t want to pay what the doctor is charging me. I win because I have a right to health care. The doctor must give me my operation, like it or not. Otherwise, if the doctor has the right to demand payment, wouldn’t that interfere with my right to health care?
Of course, some statists don’t go that far. They say that I have a right to health care but that I can’t force the doctor to work for free. Fair enough. But what if I don’t have the money to pay for the operation?
The statists say that I have the right to take your money from you in order to pay the doctor. Hey, don’t complain — you’ve got the right to health care too, meaning that you can go take everyone else’s money to pay your doctor bills.
The same analysis holds true for all those other rights — the rights to education, food, clothing, housing, retirement pay, and a car. I’ve got the right to take your money from you in order to enjoy these things.
After all, if I don’t have the right to force suppliers to provide these things to me or if I don’t have the right to take your money from you to pay for them, then my so-called right to health care, food, housing, retirement, clothing, and a car is worthless.
Our American ancestors had a completely different view of rights from the one that guides today’s American statists, one that didn’t entail forcing people to work for free or that enabled people to get into other people’s pocketbooks without their consent.
They held that people have to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But to them, liberty wasn’t a license to enslave others or loot others. Instead, freedom entails the right to live your life the way you want so long as your conduct is peaceful, engage in any occupation without a license or permit, enter into mutually beneficial trades with others, accumulate unlimited amounts of wealth (no income taxation), and decide for yourself what to do with your money: spend, save, invest, or donate.
As our American ancestors discovered, a free-market society builds up the real income and wealth of people, which then enables them to pursue happiness in their own way, including through the purchase of such things as health care, education, clothing, food, transportation, and so forth.
Once the free market builds up that large wealth base, however, the statists pop up with their programs calling for coercion and plunder. That, in turn, inevitably leads to a shrinking of the wealth base, thereby condemning people to increasingly lower standards of living in terms of such things as health care, education, food, transportation, and the like. At the root of it all is the statists’ warped view of rights.