Political Cow (Episode 2): Demonstrating in 60 Seconds that Health Care is NOT a Right

At last, Episode 2 of Political Cow, in which cow discusses one of the many ways one can quickly and easily show that health care is not a right:

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  • Dalton

    July 1, 2016

    Hey Ray, what’s the good word!?

    I’ve been meaning to respond to this since first seeing/hearing it about a month ago. How time moves.

    This is an interesting take on the “healthcare debate.” My first thought was: apply this same logic to other rights. Freedom of speech? Say you/we/one lost their vocal cords and hands (etc…) and had no way to speak. Would they still have a freedom of speech? What about the press? Say all of the media disappeared – would there still be freedom of the press? Perhaps all organized religion disappeared – would we not have that freedom? If all proper firearms magically disappeared – would that mean we wouldn’t have the right to fashion weapons?

    What sprang to mind secondly was: what kind of world do you want to live in? What kind of world do you want your children to have? Or people across the globe? Personally, I want to live in a society and civilization where healthcare IS a right – because it speaks to the level of humanity and, well, basic civilization we may have or aspire to. Having traveled to many of the world’s continents on the planet, I’d like to see healthcare a right for all inhabitants. That’s the world I want to live in, so I’ll act and support in accordance with such a want and/or need.

  • Ray

    July 1, 2016

    Rights by definition cannot lay claim to the life and labor of another. That’s the opposite of a right.

    If you had such a right — which you do not — that, among other things, would mean you had the right to the life and labor of the men and women who provide healthcare services.

    Fundamentally, there’s only one right, and all the rest are an elaboration upon this one: the right to your own life — and only your own life — and, as a corollary of that, your own property.

    This does not mean that your survival is guaranteed. It does not mean that your happiness is guaranteed. It means only that you are free to pursue it, provided you don’t infringe upon another’s same rights, and if you achieve it, it is yours unalienably, which means that it cannot be revoked, transferred, or made alien.

    Other associations, like the food you buy in a grocery store or restaurant, or the shelter you rent or purchase, or the clothing you buy, or medical care, et cetera — these are voluntary, value-for-value exchanges: i.e. you pay money to a store which has the food you want, in exchange for which money, they sell you that food.

    None of us possess the right to someone else’s press or media. We do, however, have the right to our own property and person, and if we want to start up our own media, we are free to.

    We don’t have the right to commandeer someone else’s religion. We do, however, have the right to start up our own — provided the associations are purely voluntary and unforced.

    You have the right to bear arms — or, as it were, bare arms — even if at any given time you do not own a gun. That right, in other words, which is an elaboration on your right to property and person, still exists, even in the absence of specific firearms.

    In answer to your question — “what kind of world do I want to live in?” — I want to live in a world where individual rights are recognized in full, where exchanges are voluntary and uncoerced, where I’m not forced to pay for things I do not want, and where government bureaus and bureaucrats are not the arbiters of rights turning them into permissions.

    Thank you for dropping by.

  • Dalton

    July 1, 2016

    Oof, embarrassing mistake a la “bear” and “bare” arms. I guess my hairy arms were talking a little.

    I suppose we’re getting into semantics and how we want to parse “rights” in both legal, philosophical, and governmental terms.

    I don’t disagree with you that there are some issues wherein “exchanges are voluntary and uncoerced, where I’m not forced to pay for things I do not want, and where government bureaus and bureaucrats are not the arbiters of rights turning them into permissions.”

    I think the problem arises when we volunteer (using that loosely) to remain in a given nation whereby we enter into the social contract, of sorts. Do you also disagree with liability insurance in regards to automobiles? Either way, again, philosophically I don’t disagree with you and tend to lean in your direction. But, unfortunately, we live in such a time and place wherein some individuals, leaders, representatives, organizations, and so on set bad examples via nature of the beast and a desire for money, among other things – resulting in the impingement upon the right of life and labor of the greater majority and good. We decide, then, as a society which direction to go, maybe, through analysis of the “weakest of links” and/or the crowd-sourced, representative, forensic nature of government. It does not always yield the very best results, certainly not with the current form of voting and representative procurement we have now (namely, plurality voting – horrible in this day and age – something leaps and bounds better here, now: ournewvoting.org).

    I think there are better ways to go about healthcare as we know it compared to what we have currently. Nevertheless, someone hit by a car, through no fault of their own, should not be held liable in monetary or legal terms. Perhaps that’s being a little too flippant of the situation, but it seems like you may say that such a person would not have the right to be free from that imposition.

    As you mentioned earlier, if there is only one right and then all others are an elaboration upon the one, then I fail to see how healthcare at its most fundamental level wouldn’t be a facet of that elaboration.

  • Ray

    July 2, 2016

    The definition of the term is the crux of the whole issue, and I don’t regard it as a merely semantic argument.

    In fact, I’ve had this discussion for enough years to have concluded that the reason there’s so much confusion surrounding the subject of rights is that people don’t have a good notion of what the term actually means.

    Thus we end up with all this “right to free housing,” “right to a job,” “right to free health care,” “right to free food” talky-talky. All of which is a complete negation of the term rights.

    The reason that health care is not a right is that nobody has the right to the life and labor of another person. Someone must provide health care. This makes it a voluntary association and transaction.

    My rights, your rights, everyone’s rights stop where another’s begin.

    Thank you for dropping by.

    P.S. http://rayharvey.org/index.php/2014/03/dont-believe-in-free-market-medicine-have-you-ever-seen-the-inside-of-a-venezuelan-supermarket/

  • Dave Cochrane

    September 14, 2016

    “My rights, your rights, everyone’s rights stop where another’s begin.”

    As the philosopher Cockystotle said (translated from the original Greek): the only right one has is the right to be left the fuck alone.

    Everything else follows from that, except to add: disrespect that right, and surrender yours.

  • Ray

    September 14, 2016

    Hiya Cocky! It’s been too long.

    Thank you for dropping by, with all your Cockystotle.

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