Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Difference between phony and true rights

It is the pathetic state of current discourse that something as obvious as this needs to be explained-

Your article Saturday on CSU Monterey Bay students who are unhappy with a private company's inspections of the student housing they live in contains a telling quote. Student spokesman Michael Frederiksen states, "We all deserve safe and secure housing." But to say that someone deserves something is to say that others have a duty to provide it. Who has that duty? Frederiksen thinks that taxpayers owe it to him and his fellow students. But why do students' decisions to attend a heavily subsidized Cal State University automatically impose a duty on taxpayers who do not attend?

Frederiksen is advocating a "phony right." What's the difference between a phony right and a real right? A real right is, say, my right not to be murdered. The only responsibility that imposes on you and others is not to murder me. In other words, it's a responsibility not to do something. The "right" to good housing, though, is a phony right because it implies that someone else has a positive duty to provide it. And let's not hide behind government. The only way government can provide things is by forcibly taking from others.

More the phony 'rights' are created, more the real rights are trodden upon.

India is embarking on a very large scale expansion of phony 'rights' in the Right to Food Bill that is  likely to pass sometime this year. Foolishness on a massive scale - but par for course for a government run by an 'eminent' economist.