FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
The Cancerous Lie of Unbounded Positive Rights
You Don’t Have An Unending Right To Have A Good Or Service Provided By Somebody Else
An alliance of Progressive Organizations is attempting to counter 23+ hours of truth from Senator Cruz with thirty-one seconds of disingenuous horse-hockey. They rail at Republicans who vote to deny other people healthcare. They rail at Republicans who vote to deny other people food stamps. It’s as if being an American implies that you have a natural right to have the government give you goods and services that originally belonged to, or are produced by somebody else.
In the bizarre world of “Positive Rights,” we get logical constructs that would totally destroy the social contract of any society that attempted to fulfill them. There is never any logical limit to what can be claimed as a so-called Positive Right. In the real-world, to all of these limitless demands are attached similarly limitless costs. It’s analogous to the Work-Energy Relationship in Physics.
If people are not as rich as they want, they are entitled to a “living wage.” There is no limiting concept to what that living wage should be. The current minimum wage is seen as too draconian. Senator Elizabeth Warren can’t understand why we don’t hike it to over $20. She explains below.
“If we started in 1960, and we said that, as productivity goes up — that is, as workers are producing more — then the minimum wage is going to go up the same,” the Massachusetts senator said during the hearing. “And, if that were the case, the minimum wage today would be about $22 an hour. So, my question … is what happened to the other $14.75?”
My question isn’t “What happened to the $14.75?” It’s more along the lines of “Where will this come from?” Absent the coercive power of the state to take that money at gunpoint, it won’t come from anywhere. At the end of the day a Positive Right can only be guaranteed by the will of the state to shoot its own citizenry for not forking over whatever good or service is now considered someone else’s Positive Right. Am I the only guy here that sees the potential negativity? If you see it as well, you understand why Obamacare, designed to make healthcare universal, has created far more job opportunities for IRS enforcers than it has for medical professionals.
It’s telling that making healthcare a Positive Right via Medicare has cost 800% more per year than what was originally estimated. Fellow RS Contributor, Jeff Emanuel went positively Biblical on this, as he cited The Parable of Talents from The Book of Matthew. He also provides some numbers below.
The true cost of Medicare is stunning. In 1990, rather than costing American taxpayers $12 billion, Medicare cost $107 billion – an increase of 800% over the government’s best guess at the program’s cost 23 years before. That cost has increased exponentially as the years have passed since 1990. This year, $484 billion will be spent on mandatory Medicare outlays; by 2018, that number will be $885.1 billion, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. The total amount owed Medicare beneficiaries (American workers who are at least 22 years old and who have paid into the system, meaning they are due Medicare coverage upon retirement) is a staggering $32.3 trillion – an amount over twice America’s GDP, and nearly five times the publicized national debt.
But if we make Universal Healthcare a positive right for all Americans, you have no moral or philosophical right to object $32.3Tr, or to $323Tr. You didn’t build that, and it’s Constitutional, (expletives)! But Obamacare will be different because Progressives these days are so much smarter. Oh, wait…. And wait, by the way, is exactly what the US Senate has advised that its own members do before they sign up for anyone’s HIX.
So the Progressives have decided Healthcare, a complicated service, provided by highly-trained professionals, at a high rate of cost is now a human right. Senator Ted Cruz has taken the rocky moral high road associated with explaining why government shouldn’t get to just hand out the goodies. This is a very hard point to make when the current electorate has a Pavlovian reaction in favor of any offer of a Federal hand-out. The cancerous lie of the unbounded positive right eats away at the fabric of our society. Support Senator Cruz and his courageous stand reminds me of Horatio fighting to hold the bridge.