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Saturday, February 02, 2008


U.S. Constitution for Dummies: Entitlements

I try to avoid social gaffes that will have a negative effect on my children's lives. I don't spit on the floor when we're at formal dinners, I try not to attempt to date my daughters' friends, I generally avoid political discussions with their visitors and guests while I'm at their homes. Two notable lapses have occurred in recent years: last year, when I engaged in a conversation with a Paulbot in an Alabama Wal-Mart while there with my son because she was pretty good-lookin' (shallow I am); and 2004, when I almost came to blows in a bar with my son-in-law's father when he announced his work on John F'ing Kerry's campaign, and then went on to compare the current World War with Viet Nam, because the father's first cousin got his mind messed up in 'Nam and that made the dad an expert. Hey, I'm only on my second war, what can I know?
So, last night, at supper, a guest asks, "What do you think of our election choices? A black man, a woman, or someone crazy?". That led rapidly to a discussion about socialized medicine, upon which I have previously commented here. I managed to put a damper on myself after a few minutes, but it took some effort. This woman was a health care professional, like myself, and yammered on about the right of everyone for health care access, like that would only exist if a Dummocrat were president.
Which leads us to entitlements. To make sure I hadn't completely slipped the rails, I went back to that entertaining work, the U.S. Constitution (considered by many Leftists an annoying anachronism rather than the legal core of this Nation). The word "entitled" appears four times. Three of those instances refer to representation of the several States. One refers to individuals:

Article IV

Section 2

The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

Nothing there about free anything. Article I, Secs. 8 & 9, give you some idea of what you can reasonably expect from Congress. Nothing there about entitlements, either. And the Bill of Rights (Amendments I-X, for those who never awoke during that class) enshrine Civil Rights, they grant nothing.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
For the Founders, that meant providing an environment where free men (yes, it took a lot of blood and effort to include former slaves and women) could strive and succeed, and also fail. TANSTAAFL.

IMAO, the only "entitlements" that exist are Social Security/Medicare to the extent that one has been forced to pay into them, and VA benefits, which are paid for in advance, all too often with blood. There are also municipal and state services (roads, cops, firefighters, etc.) that your elected representatives have instituted. You don't want fire protection, start going to your city council meetings.
As to access to health care, this guy said it well (emphasis mine):

The solution to our health care crisis must address economic reality. The role of government should be to provide an infrastructure so that a consumer-driven, free market can exist in medical care. People have a right to access health care, just as they have a right to access food, shelter and clothing. All those things are necessities of life, but no one expects to receive free groceries, housing or clothes. People do expect the government to provide an orderly market so they can access those necessities, however.

That said, there are an awful lot of people in this country that believe they're entitled to health care, food, shelter, clothing. Wrongo. You're entitled to access. Whether that access is easy or difficult depends in large part on your own life choices- your approach to learning, where you choose to live, what work you seek, how well you perform it. Once you're an adult you are responsible for those choices.

I am entitled to what I earn. All the rest is the grace of God...and luck, perhaps!
It's too bad we can't recall the founding fathers, we need a good old
fashioned uprising in this country.
Thanks for not dating my friends... and the woman you mentioned is an idiot, politically and medically, IMHO.
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