Custom Search

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Rights


I am curious. What do YOU think are our basic rights as humans, and more specifically, as Americans?

Please keep the discussion focused and civil.


10 comments:

Swizz said...

My question comes from the passing of the healthcare bill in the House. It seems to ME that some people feel that healthcare is a basic right.

I'm wondering, do people feel that owning a house is a basic right?

Owning a cell phone?

Owning a car?

Swizz said...

Okay, sorry guys! I've been gone all day and didn't realize the site wasn't allowing your comments.

Please, please try again!

Karl said...

I think rights are things that come from the natural state of humans - free speech, freedom of conviction, and most importantly, the freedom to mind your own business and be left alone if you so choose.

Anything that requires positive action on someone else's part cannot be a right - health care being a great example. What if a doctor refuses to treat you because you can't pay? Can they be compelled under threat of force to do so? I say no. This must be a freely chosen exchange of services for money (or no money, if the doc chooses to be charitable). Besides, would you want that medical care anyways?

So healthcare, while perhaps a reasonable expectation of a wealthy society, is not a right, IMO. The freedom to sit in your living room, minding your own business and doing drugs, is a right. Etc. etc.

Cheers
Karl

Krause said...

I'm basically with Karl on this one, though I don't think basic human rights extend to harming others without consequence (hence, as Karl says, shooting up in your living room is one thing, but taking the party outside and doing harm, intentional or otherwise, in your altered state is entirely another).

To directly address your question, Lil' Swizz, heathcare is not a right, and even if They manufacture a right to healthcare in this country, it will never be free.

Actually, I think our founding fathers enumerated our basic human rights pretty succintly - life, liberty, and the pursuit of hapiness. I just think our modern inerpretation of that concept has taken wings like the Fathers never intended or imagined.

I have no right to a car, a cell phone, subsidized housing, food stamps, or healthcare of any kind. I DO have a responsibility to be self-sufficient - to provide for myself and those that depend on me. If I need help and you choose to give it, then fine, but shame on me if I ever suggest that taking care of myself is anyone's responsibility but my own.

As a corollary to the above, I also have a right to achieve all the potential I have in this life if I put forth the effort to do it - to choose for myself where to go and what to be, including earning a gazillion-dollar Wall Street bonus if the person paying it thinks I'm worth it.

And I have the right to eat healthy and exercise or watch soap operas and eat bon-bons, and then enjoy the consequenses of either as they come, without blaming someone else for making me fat. But I digress.

Basic human rights by definition are tautological - they are rights simply because they are rights, a result of the condition of being human. If there is that much honest debate about what is a right and what is not, then we're probably trying to invent one where none exists...

Swizz said...

I agree with BOTH of you.

I read yesterday a comment by someone who said that they can't afford the $100 a month cost of healthcare and they are glad the House passed the bill. They are young, work, and I'm guessing fairly intelligent.

My question to them is WHO is going to pay for it? And how much do they think the rise in taxes will be for them to cover this? My guess is WAY more than $100 a month.

I also heard about a cell phone program for low-income people...no stipulations on only emergency numbers, etc...

WHY ARE MY TAXES paying for such nonsense?

Why aren't you both representing me in the House? :o)

Sarah said...

I'm going to venture into this discussion...I grant you that affordable healthcare may not be a basic human right in the classical sense. But there is a the reality of dealing with the situation in which we live. I want to understand where you are coming from on this but I don't see how our country can allow one person to get treatment because he can afford it and not let another because he can't.

If you told a child that that is how our system works, I believe they would honestly say that was unfair.

Just wondering what you would do if you did not have a health insurance plan?

Now, on the more libertarian side of things - I think it's horrendous that employers have the responsibility of insuring their workers. The costs to businesses are outrageous as we all know (especially to small businesses which are the lifeline of our economy.) And it seems to me that we would have a lot more entreprenuers if people didn't have to worry about health insurance. (i.e. people would get stuck in corporate jobs just for the healthcare.)

Swizz said...

Sarah,
I'm not saying that anyone should be left untreated if they are in a situation where they have to have treatment. Especially a child. But for us to be mandated that we WILL have insurance, and then to possibly take away our choices in the type insurance, I do not agree.

With us going out on our own in business, health insurance is a HUGE factor. But, it is one I believe WE need to take on. NOT the government.

There are MANY options for the healthcare system in this country to be changed.

To quote my nephew "Tort reform that has been agreed to drop costs across the health care system, incentive programs for private coverage while keeping good health which would drop prices dramatically, insurance caps that block insurance companies from driving up premiums without customer notification. Removal of the blocking of individuals buying health coverage across state lines, which would also dramatically drop prices due to MASSIVE competition..."

Sarah, you are one person I know who truly THINKS about your viewpoints. And your heart is in the right place.

What I don't understand are some of the people who are supporting some of these viewpoints but based on wanting the government to do it all for them. WE are the government (supposedly we're represented). WE pay the bills. WE should get a decision how that money gets spent.

And THAT is the frustration with this bill.

P.S.- We miss you!

Baloney said...

If we are talking healthcare, then NO I don't think it is one of our rights. I pay a large amount every year for our family to have coverage.
What makes me mad is that people assume that I don't care just because I feel this way.
I think there needs to be some major reform in the insurance industry, lawsuits (out of control) and etc.
Welfare actually teaches families to NOT work harder. I have seen families quit working overtime because they will lose their health benefits from the state. Can't we do better?
I'd much rather see us rework the systems in place before we add something else to the mix.

backwoods conservative said...

This is the land of opportunity. People making the most of their opportunities is what has created the vast wealth the liberals want so badly to redistribute. The fact that some people have more than others is not an injustice, and wanting the power to take away what rightfully belongs to the people who have worked to acquire their wealth is a form of greed in itself.

Insurance provided by employers is a benefit, and better benefits is one of the ways employers compete with each other for the best workers. The fact that it has become so prevalent is a testament to how successful it has been.

There are many things that some people can afford that others cannot. Instead of teaching the people who have less that this is unfair and government should step in and distribute things differently, they should be taught to look at how to take better advantage of their own opportunities.

Krause said...

My own brother once said, "As long as I'm young and poor, I'm voting Democrat. When I'm older and have money, I'll vote Republican." But he never made any effort to get his own money as he got older. So now he's still poor and he's still voting Democrat.

That's the core problem - the Have--Nots finding it easier to let the government take it from the Haves and redistribute it to them than to go out and get it for themselves. The land of opportunity shouldn't include the opportunity to get something for nothing.

As an illustration of the effect of redistribution, walk into any bodega in Harlem and you're apt to see the common sight of some teenage kid in brand-new Nikes, Sean John jeans and a nice leather Lakers jacket talking on his cell phone and paying for a frozen burrito with his mother's food stamps. I've seen it, anyway. Is that really the welfare society we want in this country?

Nationalized healthcare is the cornerstone of socialism. Once we start down that path, how long before that kid in the bodega gets his Nikes and Sean Johns from the government, too?

Of course, my stupid brother will still be voting Democrat if he can get a free pair of basketball shoes out of it...