Sunday, July 11, 2010

Privilege or Right

So my state delegate sent me an email. Form letter. I got on his mailing list after communicating with him, urging support of gun rights legislation in the statehouse.

Anyway, his mail insists that a first rate public education is a right not a privilege, and how great it is here in this county &c. &c.

I'll grant our public schools, here, are halfway decent. And were when I attended them 20+ years ago, but a right?

Sorry, Delegate Waldstreicher. I have no problem with a great majority of the region jealously guarding the privilege of maintaining a fine education system, but it can't be a right. It is not a right when you have to take from one to provide for another. I don't have a right to someone else's groceries. No one is obliged by duty to provide me a big screen TV. It isn't right to for me to get you to cajole the government to take money from my fellow citizens, at gunpoint, and then use that money to subsidize my subway tickets. Is that sort of thing done? Yes. But it is one of the little tyrannies of the democratic process, and it's not a right. Or right.

A right to speak takes nothing from another. Not being forced to lodge soldiers is the opposite of a taking. Defending myself from a fellow citizen that is violation MY right removes no resources from my neighbor. I don't dip into YOUR wallet when I go to church. Even a Unitarian church. I own myself, and you own yourself. These are rights.


Old NFO said...

"It is not a right when you have to take from one to provide for another."

THAT is the money phrase... :-) Well said!

Anonymous said...

You do NOT have the Right to be happy. You have the Right to pursue happiness.

Crucis said...

Rights are intrinsic, not material. That isn't understood by too many.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Here, let me fix your comment Crucis:

"Rights are intrinsic, not material. That isn't understood by too many politicians."

Though I guess you are right. Plenty of voters don't get that either.

Wild Goose said...

As an American, you have the RIGHT to be educated about your RIGHTS. Nothing more. Nothing less.

With that being said, I am grateful for the "free" education I received; though, in retrospect, I do think there should've been more classroom time--if not a complete semester-long high school course--dedicated to the US Constitution. Don't forget the reason why the electoral college still exists...the masses were asses. Now that's at least up for debate.

Crucis said...

Mine was a family of teachers. My mother taught elementary school and was an elementary school principal. My sister taught history and government in a high school. My father was president of our local school board. All of this was in the 1950s and 60s. During the 70s education changed with the advances of the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association. The unions brought mediocrity and leveling educational goals to the lowest denominator.

The purpose of education is not to provide social indoctrination and propaganda. The purpose of education is to teach you how to educate yourself.