Rights versus Entitlements

Thoughts on a Free Market Economy…
“Rights vs Entitlements”
By Phyllis Hunsinger
August 1, 2017

The topic of health care in America continues to be a headline in the daily newspapers and TV newscasts. America is generally recognized as having the best health care system in the world, so why is the subject always in the news? The reason is there is a misunderstanding between individual rights and benefits guaranteed by the government.

The Declaration of Independence expressed the unalienable rights, which were enumerated in the U.S. Constitution, as the right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. These rights were rights to live by one’s personal efforts without the interference of others, and specifically without interference by government. There was never a guarantee that effort equates to success. The right to pursue happiness does not guarantee that one will achieve happiness.

In the 20th and 21st century, groups have sought to add a host of activities, products, and services to the original rights expressed in the Declaration, Among these are right to employment, minimum wage, education, a certain quality of housing, race and gender representation in the workplace, freedom from economic insecurity, and guaranteed health care. We hear about rights of minorities and handicapped, women’s rights, rights of gays and lesbians, and even rights of animals. But there is a deep chasm between the unalienable rights identified in the Declaration of Independence and the demands of illusive rights seen today.

The so-called rights clamored for today by special interest groups are in fact not God-given rights, but guarantees given by the government and described as entitlements. The elected officials in their infinite wisdom and in their desire to be reelected time and time again make promises to special interest groups. Entitlements are always financed by the government, which must confiscate the funds through taxes and fees from its citizens; remember the government has no way to have money except it be taken from its citizens. Some of the first entitlements enacted in the 1900’s were Social Security and Medicare. Participation in these programs was not voluntary; therefore, individuals were forced to relinquish their freedom of choice and payment for these programs was exacted from its citizens.

There is a huge difference between rights and entitlements. Legitimate rights can be acted on by individuals without the assistance and force of government. Entitlements cannot be fulfilled without government actions which in turn require forcible interference of others.

The next time you hear someone saying we have a right to something, please ask yourself if this is going to be accomplished by the individual’s effort or the government taking from others to provide for this so-called right. Freedom in this country depends on its citizens knowing the difference between rights and government enforced entitlements.

https://www.free-dom.co.us, Phyllis Hunsinger © 2013 All Rights Reserved

Tagged with ,
This post was written by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *