It doesn’t seem like you can see or hear a news story today without someone yelling about their rights being violated. I think the most clear examples are what has been taking place in Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana, among other states when it comes to collective bargaining “rights” in regard to public employee unions. This, among other things taking place within our government, has led me to do a lot of thinking about what a right is and what a privilege is…
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”,[Declaration of Independence]
Most of us have heard this or seen it many times, but I believe some have either forgotten, or chose to ignore the fact that unalienable means not transferable or capable of being repudiated. Now I only say this, because all too often, the government elitists believe that it is up to them to decide what rights we have and do not, but that is not the case. This is where the problem lies my friends, because we are granted our rights by Our Creator, and only through the consent of the governed (us) do we allow an elected body of representatives to ensure that nobody infringes upon those rights. Somewhere along the line, things got all messed up…
Let us first take collective bargaining as an example. I contend that collective bargaining is a privilege, not a right, and here is why: Government, in its very nature, is an entity of force that does, per rule of law, have the ability to tax and we as citizens have no choice but to pay. Unlike in a private sector enterprise, that will allow the market to determine the compatibility of union collective bargaining, the monopoly of force held by government does not allow for market forces to make this determination in the case of public sector unions. Herein lies the rub… If (public sector union)collective bargaining is a right for those who are in a public sector union, does that not by nature force someone else to partake in an activity by force that they may or may not otherwise partake in??
This is the problem folks. Too many people scream about this right or that right, when in all actuality, most of what they are screaming about are really privileges. If what you see as a right requires something of someone else, and what is required of them infringes upon their rights, it is not a right, it is a privilege. In the case of the unions, if one side wants to negotiate, and the other side does not, forcing one to do the other is infringement upon their rights. If the federal government, in an effort to supply healthcare to all, forces one group of people to buy a product so that others may benefit, that is an infringement upon their rights. If the government says that company X must employ citizen Y to fill a quota, company X’s rights have been infringed upon!
Too many people these days have no concept of what the difference is between a right and a privilege. It has all become about entitlement and “what the government can do for me”. When you sit down and think, I would like you to ask yourself what are the rights you were endowed by your Creator with, and what those rights required anybody else to do? If it is a right, it does not require anything of anybody… If on the other hand, it does require someone else to sacrifice or give of themself in any way, it is most likely a privilege. Then it is time to ask yourself, “is it up to you or someone else to live up to the potential given to you by your Creator with those unalienable rights?”
2 thoughts on “A Right vs. A Privilege: What’s the difference?”
It drives me crazy when people claim anything they want or need is their “right”. Living in Oakland, I hear people say “it’s their right” almost daily. Seems the people who believe the “rich” should support the “poor”, also believe people have the right to live in a house. I tried to tell these numbskulls, that it isn’t unless they own it – but you never really do own property if you also pay property taxes. Unbelievable how telling them the truth ends up with them attacking it and me.