In a town hall style meeting on Monday night, Bernie Sanders said that healthcare was a human right. Bret Baier with FOX News asked Sanders where this right comes from. Sanders stated that we have a right to health care simply because we are human beings. The majority of the audience clearly agreed with Sanders. Bret Baier moved on to the next question without challenging Sanders’ erroneous and dangerous statement. Is this “Fair and Balanced” news reporting? But I digress!
We do not have a right to healthcare; we have a right to pursue healthcare. If you or I have a right to healthcare, then someone else must be enslaved to provide us that healthcare. Similarly, if we had a right to healthcare, then we should also have the right to food, to shelter, to clothing, to transportation, ad infinitum. These would be considered positive rights, which require other individuals to be enslaved for our benefit. This was the way the “Old World” operated resulting in compulsion, slavery, and extreme poverty for over 6,000 years.
The Founders of the United States challenged this “Old World” philosophy and fought a revolution to stop the oppression of the masses by and for the few. As a result of their success, it was realized that we do have “certain unalienable Rights . . . [to] Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness . . .” These are negative rights and constitutional. This movement towards individual freedom for all has been reversed because the majority of Americans have been convinced that they should have positive rights, which represents the enslavement of others.
Americans have a right to pursue happiness or property, which would include a right to pursue healthcare. However, a positive right to healthcare requires forcing others to pay for or provide healthcare. Therefore, apositive right to healthcare results in the indentured servitude of some individuals for the benefit of others.
As H. L. Mencken stated, politicians have “no special talent for the business of government,” only a talent for getting elected and holding office by offering to provide something to certain groups “by looting” other individuals. “In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advanced auction on stolen goods.”
As Dr. Walter E. Williams recently wrote, “The moral tragedy that has befallen Americans is our belief that it is okay for government to forcibly use one American to serve the purposes of another—that in my book is a working definition of slavery.”
Will we, as a human race, make real progress and understand this?
Dum spiro, spero—While I breathe I hope.
Robert G. Beard, Jr., C.P.A., C.G.M.A., J.D., LL.M.