Sunday, August 28, 2005


Rights, Rights, Rights

Everyone seems to have Rights (with a capital R).

Gun Rights
Property Rights
Abortion Rights/Right to choose
Right to Life
Right to Free Speech
Right to Happiness
Right to Drive
Right to smoke
Right to be free from second hand smoke
Right to Social Security
Right to Health Care
Right to have a job/Right to strike
Right to sexual preference in public.
No one seems to talk about the responsibilities and consequences that come about by exercising rights. Most people talking about rights are focusing on one important right. In this venue, I would put the gun rights people right in there with the abortion rights people - they are all "one right" people and voters. They have blinders on and consider the one right that they are obsessed with as the only right worth fighting for.
If you look at most rights on the table, they are rooted in PROPERTY RIGHTS.
Guns are property and the right to bear and own guns is based in property rights.
Abortion rights center around the property rights ("I own my own body") of the person exercising the option.
Life and your body are "property".
Speech, is to some extent property and the free use of speech can be reduced to exercising your property rights over your own words. (Much as libel and slander are violations of other peoples "property rights" - namely reputation).
Any number of other rights involve taking some kind of property (by means of taxes, societal consequences, condemnation and other devices).
The right to smoke (or not) involves how you dispose of your own property (namely your body - see Walter Williams on smoking).
Problem is, when you exercise your rights, there are consequences and responsibilities.
When you carry a gun, you assume the consequences of shooting the wrong person or an innocent bystander. You assume the responsibility of exercising that right with proper care and expertise. If you are unable to do this, you shouldn't carry a gun.
When you exercise the right of free speech, you must accept the consequences of exercising that right. If your employer or you investors or your blog advertisers don't like what you say, then you must accept the consequences or choose not to exercise the right of free speech.
You may lose money but possibly you may find more support from people that think and speak as you do. FIND NEW INVESTORS.

If you work for a company and choose to exercise your free speech rights, your gun rights, your sexual preference rights, you smoking rights, your right to strike and that company has a "culture" that frowns on those things, you must accept the consequences. You lose your job,
you are not hired in first place, your job disappears because the company closes and moves elswherel. FIND A NEW JOB.

In much the same way that the company is accepting the econmic consequences of their "culture" in possibly not hiring the most qualified people, in not keeping long term qualified people or in the socielal consequences (i.e. Walmart, Connoco, the European pizza shop that refused to serve French or German patrons, etc.). If you run a bar and you decide to make it non-smoking, you accept the consequences of smokers not patronizing your bar. If you make it a smoking establishement, you accept the consequences of non-smokers not patronizing your
Most corporations are "S" corps in the US. That means, that they are owned by PEOPLE, usually five or six. They create 80% of new jobs in the US. That big, bad corporation is "owned" by stockholders, who have put money into the company expecting a return on their investment.
If a corporation tries to exercise a right and the owners or stockholders are not willing to accept the consequences, the corporation will choose not to exercise that right. Corporations are not a fiction of the state, they are manifestations of the PEOPLE that own and operate
them and the competivie economies they operate in.
The NRA getting their panties in a twist over the Connoco situation is mis-placed. They are overlooking the fundamental of property rights. If the corporation does not want guns on their premises, they are perfectly justified in doing so. They must also accept the consequences
of not hiring well-qualified gun owners who are wearing blinders over their "gun rights" and choose not to work there. Working is not a right, if you choose to exercise your gun rights, don't work there. Conversely, if the NRA defends the gun rights of employees, how can they not
defend the rights of transgendered, transexuals, pedaphiles, convicted criminals, etc. to work there. They have rights too.
Same difference, no?
Gun rights are tied up with property rights and are inseparable. When you mess with one, you open the door to mess with the other.
In no case should the government be involved in the exercise of rights. They should not be able to steal (tax) to redistribute wealth. They should not condemn property for the sake of making more taxes. They should not ban guns. They should not be involved in abortion at
any level, that is a personal decision. They should not be involved in life issues (ala Schiavo). And on and on and on. I guess what it comes down to is that I am tired of people crying about their rights, or crying about the consequences of exercising their rights and looking to the government or the court system or their union to take responsibility or mitigate the consequences of their personal decisions.
The whole society needs to wake up and start acting like free, independent, self reliant and responsible citizens.

The Old Man

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?