Saturday, April 30, 2011

Entitlements vs. Rights

Give us a chance so we can dicover the most valuable ways to serve one another.

Dennis Prager from NRO on entitlements vs. rights and free markets vs. the welfare state:

What handouts do, and what the transformation of handouts into rights does, is create a citizenry that increasingly lacks the most important character trait — gratitude. Of all the characteristics needed for both a happy and morally decent life, none surpasses gratitude. Grateful people are happier, and grateful people are more morally decent. That is why we teach our children to say “thank you.” But the welfare state undoes that. One does not express thanks for a right. So, instead of “thank you,” the citizen of the welfare state is taught to say, “What more can I get?”

Yet, while producing increasingly selfish people, the mantra of the Left, and therefore of the universities and the media, has been for generations that capitalism and the free market, not the welfare state, produces selfish people.

John Stossel was on O'Reilly the other night and claimed that private charity would step in and replace the broader government-sponsored and managed social safety net were it ever dismantled. We tend to agree with him but we wonder if we've passed the point of no return in that our desire and incentive to voluntarily give our time, talent and treasure to helping those less fortunate than us has been blunted to the point that our belief is no longer true.

When one starts claiming that a job, a house and health care are "rights", how is anything then not on the table to be provided and which results in the involuntary confiscation of those that create, build and provide those assumed rights?

We're seeing some positive signs particularly at the state level where steps are being taken to curtail the collective bargaining "rights" of government employee unions and also to prevent the automatic deduction (see also, confiscation) of tax-payer-funded salaries which go directly to political causes, most notably those that involve the further expansion of union "rights".

Rights supported by the confiscation of goods and services are not right at all and that's why we love that quote above that was taken from the Keynes v Hayek smackdown in the previous post.

Give us a chance = Free will not top down/command and control decision-making will allow...

So we can discover = our God-given talents, intellect and ability to figure out...

the most valuable ways = achieving the most efficient means...

to serve one another = of being a positive force in society whether in the market place or charity.


Foxfier said...

Is your belief still true? Depends on how you mean replace.
It won't provide the, ahem, level of comfort to which many have become accustomed.
Will private charity prevent folks from starving and freezing, probably more effectively than the gov't?
I think so.

Private charity can self-sustain, too, and weeds out exploiters. (A major reason that gov't "charity" doesn't work-- every time it tries to weed out leaches, it makes it so they're the ones most likely to get anything.)

Dean said...

Also the reason why I was totally against Bush's faith-based initiative program.

SarahB said...

I love the phrasing here...may have to borrow.

Dean said...

Feel free. Thanks.