Healthcare is not a “right”

No one has the “right” to the services, property, or advice of another. Healthcare is not a “right,” but a category of commodities to be bought and sold in a voluntary marketplace. People “need” lots of things including food, water, shelter, and healthcare; but “need” is not a justification for theft. Whenever the government engages in the compulsory confiscation of property (commonly referred to as taxation) and redistributes that property to other people in the form of goods or services, what has occurred is theft (or “plunder” as Frédéric Bastiat termed it.)

Bastiat identifies plunder thusly:

“But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.”

He also explains some of the schemes by which this plunder is committed:

“Now, legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole—with their common aim of legal plunder—constitute socialism.”

Finally, he addresses the most common criticism of this philosophy:

“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”

What then is the answer to our national problems and concerns? Why, Liberty of course. As Bastiat again explains:

“It seems to me that this is theoretically right, for whatever the question under discussion—whether religious, philosophical, political, or economic; whether it concerns prosperity, morality, equality, right, justice, progress, responsibility, cooperation, property, labor, trade, capital, wages, taxes, population, finance, or government—at whatever point on the scientific horizon I begin my researches, I invariably reach this one conclusion: The solution to the problems of human relationships is to be found in liberty.”

Frédéric Bastiat was absolutely correct.

By Parrish Miller

This is my personal website where I discuss issues of philosophy, politics, and survival from a libertarian perspective.

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