The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
Whenever I encounter someone who expresses support for the redistribution of wealth through progressive taxation, I say, "Oh, so you're pro-slavery?"
The typical reply, "Of course not, I don't support slavery."
And mine, "You support taking the fruits of one person's labor against his will, and giving it to another person so that person can sit on his ass. How is that different than slavery?"
And the response is?
1) We are f'in Robin Hood, not some rich white guy...
2) __________ (fill in the blank)
Actually, you have a right to a speedy trial, and a lawyer, and all that. Aren't those thing someone else must provide for you? How do you work around that? I'm tempted to work around them, but I don't see how.
I think the trick to this kinda stuff is balance.
A welfare state that will allow you to survive, but only just, is a good thing, especially if said state encourages the improvement of self (i.e. get a job/education/etc) to get you off said state as fast as possible.
A welfare state that doesn't encourage the helping of oneself whilst keeping you in plasma TVs is a bad thing. That's what we have in the UK and it's one of the things that's killing us.
In other words, it should stop you from starving, but only just. It shouldn't make you comfortable.
1. Who is owed a living?
2. Who owes it them?
"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first."
The world doesn't owe my kids a living--I do (up to the limit of my ability).
Interesting thing is that I'm reading through the Second Treatise right now, and changing political conditions and modern finance provide an opportunity to blow holes right through Locke's argument on property rights and the social contract, by turning it against itself.
Very briefly, a major justification for his doctrine of private property is that if you don't want to play along, you can always go somewhere with unclaimed land (like America or the European hinterlands) and claim your own land from the state of nature. (See Ch. V par. 33) Barring that possibility, then property rights could be argued to necessarily infringe on the rights of others. The same argument, and objection, applies to the social contract. (Cf. Ch. VIII par. 103)
Second, Locke says that if you claim property rights so extensive that some of your produce rots, you lose your claim to that property. (For example Ch. V par. 46) One might argue that, given our ability to determine opportunity costs for ANY asset not being used optimally, that this imposes a requirement to extract a certain level of production from all of your assets, or risk losing them!
So it's not that simple.
The Government does NOT love me, it taxes me and sets it's bloated and brain-dead bureaucracy of zombies upon me - that means it hates me.
I do love McCain's VP choice though.
No, it's not, Mastiff. I once wrote that if you lined up all the philosophers who ever existed, they wouldn't reach a conclusion.
No philosophy survives contact with reality, but Locke's resulted in the most freedom, the most prosperity, and the most opportunity for the most people ever in the history of humanity. From my perspective that means it worked.
Rousseau's philosophy has resulted in the deaths of more people at the hands of their own governments, more misery, more poverty, than ever seen in the history of humanity. From my perspective that means it failed.
But which one is being learned, unconsciously and unquestioningly, by our populace?
No arguments here on that point...
Where the slope starts to slip is with taxation for legitimate (ie: Constitutionally sanctioned) purposes.
Folks with a couple of brain cells to rub together usually bring that up, asking what the distinction is, for example, between taxes for wealth redistribution vs taxes for the common good such as roads common defense via the military.
The answer, is, of course, the Constitutional Sanction of those purposes.
This is then usually followed up by some assertion that taxation for social purposes/wealth redistribution is legitimate because it is sanctioned by the democratic process that enacted it, and *that's* where they pile head on into the disconnect. They cannot (or will not) grasp that while yes, the redistributive scheme is enacted via a democratic process that appears on the surface to conform to the Constitutional process by which our government is run, that is not sufficient to gain legitimacy, because the while the process might be valid, it's scope is limited, and the result is out of bounds.
Like I said before, they so desperately want to achieve the good they seek that they intentionally blind themselves to the evil they create.
You state that very well. You ought to be a blogger! (J/k, but you ought to post more often!)
Spot on--although some will argue that many of the unsanctioned activities of government are in fact sanctioned by one or another of the Sweeping Clauses (at least their advocates would have it so).
I too believe that the "right to healthcare" language is horribly mis-spoken and misunderstood.
I believe that all people have a right to quality health care. But like other rights, I don't believe that others have the obligation to provide said healthcare.
Lets look at other rights, The right to free speech, and press for example. While I have the right to say or write anything I like, nobody else is obligated to publish or broadast my idiotic rantings. I have the right to arms too but nobody is (or should be) obligated to purchase arms for me to bear.
Likewise with healthcare. I belive that all people have the right to quality healthcare. As much of it as they can afford. But like any other service, you do have to pay for it.
Being in the automotive maintenance and repair business I believe that all people have the right to quality auto care too. They just have to pay for it too.
I stand by what I said at a political rally in 1996:
Yes, I concede that there are some few government services that are ESSENTIAL, and they have to be paid for somehow. I submit to you that the government services so vital as to justify MUGGING THE CITIZENRY to pay for them (essentially what *all* taxation is) make a mighty short list.