This is a quick throw away post. I’m not dead, but I am very busy. However, younger son pinged me on FB and said “Do the dems really think that the right to Healthcare INSURANCE really is a universal human right? What part of unalienable and natural did they fail to get?”
I told him the left side of the isle DOES indeed believe so.
And hence, this post.
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are the rights listed in the declaration of independence. And they’re so listed because they’re the rights you have unless the government takes them away from you.
But Sarah, you say, you’ll eventually die. And you might end up so confined that you don’t have liberty. And what about happiness. You can pursue but you might not catch.
At which point I’m going to tell you that this is the lamest argument since pro-abortion people bring in that one in two pregnancies end in spontaneous miscarriage. That’s comparing apples to kumquats and doesn’t make it any more “natural” or “right” or whatever to abort the ones that remain.
In the same way, sure, you were born to die. And you eventually will. And sure, your liberty is constrained by the circumstances of your birth and might impair your happiness. Like, for instance, having a functional body would dramatically contribute to my happiness.
But that doesn’t mean the government has the right to confine you, kill you or prevent you striving towards what you want.
Note the striving in that last one.
It just means that you should take reasonable care to keep them, and that if someone violates them in an illegal manner (murder, false arrest) they should be punished.
Note, btw, that you keeping those rights involves your striving towards them but does not require anyone to give them to you. Because to have someone assure your life, liberty and pursuit of happiness by necessity means impairing another’s life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
Cue the whining: but life needs food and shelter and health care. What if you don’t have those? Shouldn’t a just society provide them?
What about liberty? How free can you be when you spend nine to five at a job you hate? Shouldn’t you just get whatever you need so you can be free?
What about the pursuit of happiness? What if my happiness is creating mediocre art? Shouldn’t others support me while I do it?
Um… what you see here is a difference between the American and the French revolutions. The American revolution granted you life, liberty and the PURSUIT of happiness. The French revolution granted you Equality, Fraternity and Liberty. Whatever the hell that is supposed to mean. What it mean in practice is that American liberties are hands off liberties. “We won’t violate your rights to this, and you’re free to keep them if you can. It is your right to strive to keep them, in other words.” The French revolution guaranteed outcomes. “You’ll be equal. You’ll be free of all restraint.” I have no idea how they planned to enforce fraternity, so I’m going to assume magic mushrooms or argot or something were involved.
The first one is attainable and it leads to freedom for individuals attaining what they can by their own efforts. The second… The second guarantees intrusive government any minute of the day into everyone’s life. After all, HOW can you ensure everyone is equal, except by hobbling the ones who are faster in the race of life, expropriating anything anyone saves, and generally trying to turn humans into widgets.
And making sure everyone has free health care, means enslaving doctors. Let me tell you, as the mother of a medical student that the US has quite possibly the craziest and definitely the most expensive health care training in the world. All the idiots who think that doctors should be paid like teachers fail to get the difference between 4 years undergrad study for teachers, and 4 years undergrad study, plus often these days to make it into medschool, a Master’s (which fortunately son didn’t need.) Plus four years post graduate training at exorbitant cost in both money and effort, plus seven to ten years internship paid at close to minimum wage. Now take someone who has devoted ten to fourteen years of his life to becoming a healthcare provider, and pay him like a teacher. Not only will you see them quitting in droves, you’ll see suicides skyrocket more than they already are among that group. (And yes, other countries have this. In Portugal at least MDs get 7 years, total. Straight out highschool. I know other countries are closer to Portugal than the US. And still they don’t get paid like teachers.)
Then comes the ridiculous, like, you know, you can’t live without food, so farmers should be enslaved to producing food for you.
Oh, yeah, and your happiness requires companionship, so we get to providing you with someone to give you that and sex, right?
But, you say, the dems actually only want people to have INSURANCE, not health care.
Right. And let me tell you, the problems with that start with the fact that there aren’t enough doctors to cover everyone who will go to the doctor for a hangnail or because they are bored. No? Well, I’m not sure what the arrangement is, but apparently Obamacare covers ambulance rides for seniors COMPLETELY. This means that when son was a scribe in ER, they spent half the night with the regulars. I.e. elderly people (the neighborhood we used to live in was more than 50% Catholic and Jewish grandmothers, very useful to keep an eye on the kids) who were bored and called with symptoms requiring an ambulance right then, when what they actually needed was company, a cup of hot chocolate and a doughnut.
Everything the government gives for free introduces that kind of perverse incentive, and we really don’t have enough doctors for people who think they should go to the doctor for every sneeze.
The other stuff, the serious stuff, was already being taken care of. Sure, it often means crushing bills for survivors. But there are arrangements already in place for people who can’t pay. I’ve seen people with cancer and no insurance get top flight treatment. This is done by the hospitals, because doctors take treating people seriously. It’s why they put up with the bullshit needed to become doctors. I know the type: not just my son but a lot of my fans would jeopardize their own lives to save others’. I don’t get it (I’m one of those people who has a horror of illness, even my own.) BUT it’s who they are. Just like I can’t help making up stories. Healing the sick is something they were born to do. (Okay, not all of them, but a good number of them.)
So giving everyone insurance is just… well a way to enslave the tax payers to make sure people have a “Right” that not only isn’t natural but might be counterproductive or at least meaningless. I mean, you can have a right to insurance all you want to. But no one can make you magically find someone to treat you, when every doctor is busy with seniors taking a joyride to ER.
And yet you’ll be taking money for it from people who could use it to… oh, make sure their sons or daughters can become doctors. You’ll be taking money from people who could afford to eat better with it, and not get sick.
You’ll be impoverishing others for a cosmetic “gain.”
This is what’s known as ignoring the gift and playing with the wrapper.
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are gifts you bring with you at birth. Unequal, sure, but we’re all unequal from the moment of birth. You have unique abilities and talents. There is no way to make you equal to everyone else, except by reducing each person’s ability and capacity. Because you can’t INCREASE someone’s capacity. You can’t for instance make me into a ravishing skinny blond. (Trust me, even without the blond part. I’ve tried.) OTOH you can’t give other people my relative facility with language. Even very smart people. Trust me, again, I tried. I used to teach the stuff.
Meanwhile, ENSURING that you have Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness is something no one can do. There is no way to do it without enslaving someone else to provide you with these things. Even if what you’re taking is 1/4 of a person’s life, that’s still slavery. You do not have the right to take another person’s life, liberty or pursuit of happiness to pursue your own. You can, sure, bargain for those, or pay for those, but not take them. It has to be a mutually agreed contract, not an imposition by the state.
People who want everything provided for them are not at war with oppression. They’re at war with reality.
We’re not like onto angels, who can get everything by thinking about it. The benevolence of governments dictating you must have this or that — free health care, free food, free lodgings — is always a threat of force against those they force to provide you with those.
Which is why such pursuits always end in blood and mass graves, just like the French revolution.
Because humans are apes, and imperfect. We are born with different wants, different needs, different talents, different weaknesses.
You want to give according to your ability and receive according to your talents? Good. This is the path of happiness. But don’t expect the government or even those nearest or dearest to you to know what those abilities and needs are. Hell, you might not know them yourself, when you start out. A lot of the stammering on the road to maturity is that we have no clue who we are and what we can do, or what we NEED yet.
Humans are striving humans. It is in strife and struggle you find yourself. If you eliminate struggle from life, you’ve eliminated all reason to live. This is why aristocrats and people in socialist regimes lose interest in life.
Things that are against reality can’t go on. What can’t go on stops.
Meanwhile, striving to keep your natural rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is happiness in itself and will make you strong and productive.
Go out there and strive.