Fox News’ Judge Napolitano succinctly explains the difference between rights and goods while filling in on the Glenn Beck Show yesterday.

This has to be one of the best explanations of why health care should not be thought of as “a right.”

13 comments
  1. A gun is also a “good”. “Goods” and “Rights”, therefore, are not mutually exclusive. We do have a right to health care in the same way we have a right to gun ownership. If we don’t have a right to health care, then this means that it’s not a crime against human dignity for for government to ration it. If we have no right to it, rationing is not evil. See?

    I see now that even professed conservatives have bought so much into the entitlement mindset that they now mix up “rights” with “entitlements”. The true conservative view of rights is that they are not entitlements. It has NOTHING with a capital “N” to do with whether or not it’s a “good” we’re talking about. Just because we have a right to something doesn’t mean we are entitled to it.

    We all have a right to health care, but this doesn’t mean we are “entitled” to health care. In the same manner, we have a gun rights, but that doesn’t mean the government has to purchase guns for us.

    If we don’t have a right to health care, none of us should have been complaining when a judge ruled that Teri Schiavo should have her health care refused.
    .-= Lisa Graas´s last blog ..Paul, Johnson or Grayson? Whom Will Palin Endorse in Kentucky? =-.

  2. I find it interesting that he mentions Pope John Paul II. He’d have said health care is a right. We have a right to food. This simply means the government cannot pass laws that make it illegal for us to obtain food. See? It doesn’t mean the government has to pay for our food, but we have a right to food in that government can’t pass laws that make it illegal for us to get food.

    Napolitano is WRONG.
    .-= Lisa Graas´s last blog ..Paul, Johnson or Grayson? Whom Will Palin Endorse in Kentucky? =-.

  3. I’m not sure why you aren’t making the connection that the right to health care IS the right to life. The government doesn’t have the right to deny health care to people thanks to Constitutional constraints. Napolitano isn’t making a Constitutional argument. His argument comes from a flawed MODERN view that if we say someone has a “right” to something then it means they are “entitled” to it. Anyone who thinks “entitlement” when the word “right” is mentioned doesn’t understand what the Founders understood “rights” to be in relationship to government constraint. I know he’s a judge and all, but he has an entitlement mindset that prevents him from understanding that when we say “right” it doesn’t mean “entitlement”. Unfortunately, I’m hearing this same argument from other pundits and activists and it’s very disturbing to me. If you’ll listen to him again, I think you may see what I mean. He assumes “right” means “entitlement”, so he is beginning with a deeply flawed, modern assumption from which to launch his argument.
    .-= Lisa Graas´s last blog ..Paul, Johnson or Grayson? Whom Will Palin Endorse in Kentucky? =-.

  4. Also, just FYI, you know I’m Catholic. Faithful Catholics like myself are unhappy with the USCCB on a lot of things, but one thing we all agree on is that health care is a right. This doesn’t mean government has to provide it, however the government does have a responsibility on some level to make sure that as many people as possible have access to health care. The Catholic Church isn’t too particular about how that happens as long as there isn’t rationing or abortion. I think the bishops have been irresponsible in some of their negotiations and too willing to accept socialistic policy………but we Catholics do all agree that healthcare is a right.
    .-= Lisa Graas´s last blog ..Paul, Johnson or Grayson? Whom Will Palin Endorse in Kentucky? =-.

    1. @Lisa Graas – interesting thoughts Lisa.. I had not made the connection between the right to life and the right to healthcare (which saves lives).

      I wonder if education is something analogous to healthcare. Possibly it should simply be free (like education) to all minors and affordable (like community college) to all adults?
      .-= Kansas Bob´s last blog ..Working on Bearable =-.

  5. Faith-wise, in my Catholic Faith, a parent has a solemn DUTY to educate his child or to somehow ensure that the child is educated. That’s the basic teaching. How that happens (homeschooling, public school, parochial school) is all somewhat debatable.

    Constitution-wise, there is no ‘right’ to education. Remember the story of Lincoln who had only 18 months of education? Widespread education is a relatively new phenomenon. From elementary to secondary to post-secondary institutions, schools were not public until relatively recently in history, and now we’ve reached the point where parents have largely turned their children over to the state for formation. The notion, then, that education is an entitlement is new, but it has been recognized as a right for children for hundreds and hundreds of years, at least in the Catholic Church.

    As for me, my oldest is in public high school only because he can tell the difference between social engineering and real education. I homeschool my youngest three because they are so impressionable.
    .-= Lisa Graas´s last blog ..Dissolving the Palin Prejudice =-.

  6. I apologize to non-Catholics who might be annoyed by my mentioning my Faith. It’s difficult for me to discuss these issues intelligently apart from my faith. I promise I’m not here to win converts, but that is the context that I, personally, see things in and so that is how I express my point of view. Many thanks for your patience.
    .-= Lisa Graas´s last blog ..Dissolving the Palin Prejudice =-.

  7. Bob, I understand now the point you were making with the analogy. I think our education system has failed horribly. I think my son is exceptionally good (thanks partly to my efforts but assuredly by grace) at recognizing and ignoring the social engineering going on in our schools. Few government programs are successful – the military and NASA being a couple of exceptions to the rule. When it comes to handling issues related to the preservation of human dignity, the government is a horrible failure. The government should have certain regulations, but they should be the most basic regulations necessary so that the hearts of the citizenry may build a better, stronger nation in freedom and generosity.

    Thanks.
    .-= Lisa Graas´s last blog ..Dissolving the Palin Prejudice =-.

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