Friday, August 14, 2009

It's not like we couldn't see it coming...

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." - Frederic Bastiat

Bastiat saw it coming over 150 years ago.

There are a lot of people justifying the push for a national health care system by claiming health care is a right. I suppose in one respect it is. Certainly every person has the right to seek health care, and we would hard-pressed to justify a reason to forcibly prevent a person from receiving it.

Every person also has the right to own property, but they don't have the right to forcibly take it from another person. It's the same with health care. You don't have the right to force someone else to pay for yours.

As Bastiat predicted, we have created a tax system that uses force, or the threat of force, to take the property of one person and give it to another person, and we pretend that taking another persons property is morally acceptable as long as a majority of our elected officials think it will be used for a good cause.

Rights exist for individuals, and they would exist even if the government didn't define them. It doesn't create a conflict to claim that health care is a right, but it does when we claim that free health care is a right. If the government doesn't provide free health care, do you have the right to forcibly take it from someone else? I would maintain no one has that right.

An argument could certainly be made that we have a moral obligation to help those less fortunate among us. I would agree that we do.

But we don't need a government that tries to legislate morals, anymore than we need a government that tries to redefine rights.

Or authorizes plunder.



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