Monday, June 27, 2011

Education and Health Care Are Not Natural Rights

We talk about natural rights on here a lot. Natural rights are essential to existence. They are granted by God, or nature, to each individual. Jefferson recognized some in the Declaration of Independence while Madison included the most of the rest in the Bill of Rights. Most of us would agree that the Earl Warren court recognized an important natural right in the right to privacy as well.

Leftists want to ask why we do not list health care, right to a job, etc. among our rights. They accuse us of picking and choosing issues as if we were in a cafeteria. Leftists do not recognize a key difference.

Natural rights only involve the individual. An individual's right to speak, own and enjoy his property in privacy, worship in his own fashion, own guns,vote in elections, etc. do not demand resources from any other individual or group. You do not have to plunder from another to enjoy these rights. That makes them natural.

Health care, food, and work are commodities. You have the right to seek ways to obtain them, but they are not yours by right naturally because they require resources and the participation of others. If society were to truly state that something like health care was an ironclad right, that would result in the enslavement of anyone qualified to treat medical conditions. They would be compelled to work for someone else, which would violate their natural rights on a number of levels.

Medicare and social security are not rights, but in this case the government is bound by a contract to provide these services to those who paid into them for decades with the expectation that they be there. Whether or not the government is able to fulfill this contract is in question in the long term. People under forty generally have no expectations that they will ever see these benefits in their advanced age.

The worst injustice ever done to teachers was in treating education as a "right." Again, this is not a natural right. It should be treated more as a privilege. When we started operating under the belief that every child has a right to an education, we threw our public education teachers and administrators under the bus. We demanded that they take on a rising population of drug addicts and dealers, budding psychopaths, sexual predators, and educationally inert people. Not only are the educational professionals forced to divert attention and resources to dealing with these people, but those who go to school to get an education are literally victimized. Where else do we force regular folks with regular dreams to sit cheek to jowl with the worst miscreants of society and call it positive socialization? Let's be clear. You have the right to pick up a book and educate yourself, but society has no obligation to cater to those who seriously and chronically misbehave. Teachers, administrators, and real students should not have to deal with those who are in school to violate the rights of others to be secure. Our assumption that every child has the right to an education has turned our schools into prisons complete with cameras and armed guards.

The term "rights" is only applicable when there is no demand of resources from any other person or source.

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