googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Rights Belong to Individuals

Monday, March 5, 2012

Rights Belong to Individuals

In my last post, I talked about how Obama-care has mandated employers to provide things like contraceptives and other services which might conflict with the employers' religious beliefs. In an effort to defend this dangerous idea, liberals have raised many weak arguments. One example of a weak argument is the idea that, since pregnancies and babies are expensive, paying for contraceptives actually reduces the overall cost of health care.

The wisdom of this argument (if any) rests on the premise that it's better to sacrifice individual liberties for the betterment of society as a whole. In this case, by forcing employers to pay for contraceptives, everyone enjoys lower health care costs. This same argument has been used for years regarding seat belt laws: since seat belts saves lives and reduce injuries, forcing individuals to wear seat belts reduces health care costs to society.

First, let me ask: Is this really the precedent liberals want to set? Do they really want the benefit to society to be greater than the rights of the individual? In this case, they probably do which is why they raise the argument. However, this opens the door to tyranny. According to this logic, what would stop congress from passing a law mandating that everyone use contraceptives? Some might say, “Well, congress wouldn't do that” but the question still remains if congress has the power to do it. If we buy into the argument that congress can decide what's best for society – even at the cost of individual liberty – then yes, we've given them the power to do it!

In case there are liberals who still don't see the danger, let me ask this: what happens if next year, congress decides there aren't enough babies being born?  For the good of society, congress decides that no women may use contraceptives.  If the benefit to society is the objective, then what argument will liberals use then?

Second, there's a glaring flaw in the liberals' arguments: You see, the very notion that society incurs a cost for individuals' health care decisions stems from the liberal idea that society should pay the costs individuals' health care. Here's a suggestion: if someone makes a poor decision, let him suffer the consequences of it. When people don't have any consequences for bad decisions, it's a license to sin.

Since we've been talking about contraceptives, let's talk about a related issue – out of wedlock births. Today, more than half of all births to women under 30 are out of wedlock. In almost every area examined, children born to unwed mothers suffer for it. They are more likely to live in poverty, to drop out of school, and to commit crimes. What is the liberal solution to the problem? It's to give money to women who have children out of wedlock! Unmarried mothers often get food stamps, free health care (Medicaid), rent subsidies, daycare subsidies, etc. What if they have still another child? Why, they get more money, of course! Here's the weirdest part – if the women consider marrying the fathers of their children, they understand they will likely loose their government benefits. So women have babies and get benefits – they marry and loose benefits. By the way, with contraceptives so readily available, why is the illegitimacy rate so high anyway? Given the fact that illegitimacy rates are so high, do you think that at least some women might have an incentive to make bad decisions?

Consider the alternative. What if women who have children don't receive more government benefits but are simply burdened with another mouth to feed? What if they knew they would be saddled with higher and higher daycare costs for every child they have (while they have to work two or three jobs to pay for it)? If a woman knew how much of a burden a child would be, might she make better decisions about birth control or premarital sex?

Compelling all people to share the burden of those few who make bad decisions is another road to tyranny. When individuals have no consequence for making bad decisions, they have no incentive to make better decisions. This leads to higher and higher costs for the rest of us. It's the exact opposite of what liberals are trying to argue now. There is no savings. If something seems “free,” then more people will abuse it which leads to higher costs. If women believe they can have children with no consequence, then the overall cost to society is greater: higher poverty, higher taxes, higher crime, higher dropout rates, and higher everything.

Rights belong to individuals. So do responsibilities. When the government tries to protect the rights of society at the expense of the rights of the individual, it's not liberty. It's despotism.

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