Comment 25812

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted July 03, 2008 at 15:58:50

Defining property is clear cut, but how do you define fundamental human rights? Is it the right to have other people go to work so they can pay you to sit at home? Is it the right to petition government to limit other people's plans because you disagree with them? Is it the right to get free health care and education, even though somebody else is forced to subsidize it?

Private property assumes that possessions are earned in a lawful manner, and there has been a voluntary exchange by two or more parties. Your "fundamental human rights" omits the part about voluntary exchange, in fact it uses coercion to force one party to help the other.

That is the big difference between your values and mine. You don't believe that coercion is a bad thing, whereas I do.

As an example, if someone decides to buy gas from the big bad oil company, that is a choice. It may be the best choice among many bad choices, but it is still a choice. In fact, if you don't like having to buy gas, you can start your own company that sells bio diesel, or anything else you can think of.

However, when people are forced to pay a large percentage of their income to the government, there is zero choice in the matter. If a person refuses to pay the tax, he/she is sent to jail.

I do not define freedom as having property, I define freedom as having the right to earn and keep property. If you are poor, you have as much freedom as a rich person has to earn more wealth/property. The fact that Bill Gates is extremely rich, does not limit my ability to be rich as well. It's not a zero sum game.

Furthermore, it's not up to the rich to decide whether it is alright for the poor to sell themselves into slavery, it is up to the person who is selling themselves. I personally think it's a stupid thing to do, but if someone wants to do it, that is their choice.

I would hope in time that person would come to their senses and break such a contract, and if they did, I would support them. If a rich person held a slave against their wishes, then that would be morally wrong, and force would be justified in ending it.

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