Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » WHERE DO RIGHTS COME FROM?


Filed at 7:41 am under by dcobranchi

An interesting Letter to the Editor of the Wilmington News-Urinal argues for health care as a right, using g-schools as a positive example:

Rights are not measured by their price tag or the number of naysayers. Do we doubt the right to public school education because private schools exist?

A right? Yes, I doubt it. Rights are inherent to all people, everywhere. Were we violating every kid’s “right” to a “free” public education prior to 1852 when Massachussetts passed the first compulsory attendance law? In no place is education mentioned in the US Constitution. Delaware’s State Constitution does include the public schools, but in Article X, not in Article I, the Bill of Rights. So, no, public education is not a right. And, neither is health care.


Comment by
January 25th, 2004
at 8:02 am


“Can you imagine the nightmare if we debated how much it would cost to educate every child in Delaware? Thank goodness public education became the rule before special-interest groups began campaigning.”

I do think the state should offer a “free” public education to every child whose family doesn’t make other provisions. But to be glad that this was backed into without any concern for how much it would cost indicates very irresponsible thinking. And here’s another clue to the authors’ philosophy:

“When we identify health care as a right, great minds and resources will make it happen. Not yet knowing how to do it should never be the reason to think not.”

Magical thinking at its best.

Frighteningly, the authors identify themself as “Wesley Bowman, President, Joseph C. Zingaro, Chairman, Legislative Committee, Delaware Psychological Association, Dover”. I’d like to think psychologists were trained out of a tendency toward avoidance and magical thinking.

Comment by
January 26th, 2004
at 8:54 am

Of course, the writer fails to define “health care,” which is the time and expertise of highly trained physicians, nurses, etc. So by claiming health care as a right, she essentially claims a right to some piece of a doctor’s life. The doctor may have spent 10-12 years and a several hundred thousand dollars training for his profession, but according to this writer, she has the right to demand a piece of that doctor’s life, without compensation, whenever she wants.