Ben Stein drifts toward the right answer
For a guy who was a Republican speech writer and studied economics in both college (Columbia) and graduate school (Yale), Ben Stein has some unfortunate left-leaning tendencies. For example, he has argued that health care is a right. But Mr. Stein has, after further reflection, changed his view on the subject. It's the sort of admission of prior intellectual error that one rarely sees in public from a well-known figure and I'm quite impressed by Mr. Stein's willingness to say "Maybe I was wrong". The key line in Mr. Stein's public realization of the risks involved in calling health care a "right" is this: "Maybe as important as health care is, individual freedom and private property are indispensable, too." Stein's entire article, entitled "These Rights Don't Come for Free", is worth a read, in part because it probably represents the leading edge of the thought process that many Americans will go through in coming weeks -- a thought process that many readers of these pages either went through long ago or never needed to go through because the answer is obvious: Health care is NOT a right. And while Stein uses a few too many "maybe"s, showing something less than a full acceptance of his own realization, at least he got to the right answer. And his path to that answer is one that those of us who believe that liberty needs defense might look at and incorporate part of (for those who don't already made similar arguments) when discussing not just health care but anything that people want to claim as a "right" but which requires other people to pay for it. Don't forget: For something which is not free and which requires the use of resources (unlike, for example, the right to free speech) any "right" given to one person means a responsibility given to another to ensure that "right" is provided. One man's "right" to health care is another man's slavery.
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