Are these rights?
No one wants anyone to be sick, uneducated, unhoused, or hungry. But are they rights? And if they are, is the government to provide these things? I think that is exactly what Melissa Harris-Perry in this promotional video for MSNBC wants us to conclude. That government has the obligation to intervene in all aspects of life if it perceives injustice, or simply perceives something it doesn’t like. The government is filled with people who think like Ms. Harris-Perry of course.
The sad fact is that if government let non-profits and churches act freely without regulations which make providing these services so difficult, we could solve many of the social problems that exist. But the state is a jealous master and prefers to act as benefactor, with your coerced money.
I believe a very minimalist safety net is absolutely necessary. There are people who can not function in society as most can, many of these people through absolutely no fault of their own.
The heroic feats of parents of severely disabled children go unrecognized by most of us for instance. Imagine having to care for a 1 1/2 year old for 40 years. This is what many parents of developmentally disabled children do. One way or another these people deserve our support. Whether that is via the state or another means is a key and open question, but one way or another they need help.
The cost of providing a basic safety net is not colossal even if it is provided by the state (which I don’t think it should be ideally). It is the middle class programs which are breaking the bank, Medicare, Social Security, an overly large military, corporate welfare of many kinds, etc. Providing for the truly hungry and unsheltered is not huge in the grand scheme of things.
But add in generous (and relatively easy to qualify for) disability programs, a food stamp program in which 1 in 5 Americans participate, Obamacare, and the cost of a “safety net” becomes huge. Because these programs are not a “safety net,” they have become a way of life, and many people have absolutely no problem with this. It takes a village after all.
The truth is many people who share views similar to what Ms. Harris-Perry expresses in the video don’t want a meritocracy or anything close to a meritocracy. They don’t want fairness under the law. They want the law to define what is fair, and that is the equality of outcomes. Many abhor petty bourgeois inclinations, the vulgar tendencies of boring old middle America with it’s inherent racism, sexism, and obsession with “property.” The stupid hicks.
What really gets at many of these folks is that a bunch of the stupid hicks are richer than they are. And this KILLS them.
I believe Ms. Harris-Perry is likely less interested in housing the truly destitute, and feeding the truly hungry, than in equalizing an unequal society, as she perceives it.
She says in the above video that those who work hard and save (their own money) deserve to “earn a little more” than those who don’t.
“A little more?” No. How about all that they worked for? How about all they busted their rears for?
The government works for the people not the other way around.
But this is the “you didn’t build that” mentality manifest. One can dress up one’s use of force in the pretty clothes of justice, but it is still wrong to take from people what is not yours. There is no moral justification for what I imagine our friend from MSNBC probably considers an enlightened and benevolent position.
We must feed the hungry, heal the sick, house the poor, but to the degree that we can as a society we must do it without the state. It can be done without massive government intervention. But feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and housing the poor is not the real issue here. The issue is about collectivism. It is about destroying the idividual and making citizens, free people, into subjects and serfs. In the name of justice of course.
Just one parting bit. Check this other promotional video from MSNBC where Ms. Harris-Perry explains that your kids belong to the community and how the family based system of society short changes public education. How is it that MSNBC calls itself anything other than propaganda vomit hole is beyond me.