Free to Die?


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I am proud to say that I think most of my fellow Americans would be repulsed at the suggestion of forcibly using medical practitioners to serve the purposes of people in need of hospital care. But I’m afraid that most Americans are not against the principle of the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another under the pain of punishment. They just don’t have much stomach to witness it. You say, “Williams, explain yourself.”

Say that citizen John pays his share of the constitutionally mandated functions of the federal government. He recognizes that nothing in our Constitution gives Congress the authority to forcibly use one person to serve the purposes of another or take the earnings of one American and give them to another American, whether it be for medical services, business bailouts, handouts to farmers or handouts in the form of foreign aid. Suppose John refuses to allow what he earns to be taken and given to another. My guess is that Krugman and, sadly, most other Americans would sanction government punishment, imprisonment or initiation of violence against John. They share Professor Krugman’s moral vision that one person has a right to live at the expense of another, but they just don’t have the gall to call it that.

I share James Madison’s vision, articulated when Congress appropriated $15,000 to assist some French refugees in 1794. Madison stood on the floor of the House to object, saying, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents,” adding later that “charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” This vision of morality, I’m afraid, is repulsive to most Americans.

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  • mrbean

    If you believe that what one person is either unwilling and/or incapable of providing for himself let it be food, clothing, shelter or medical care shall become the forced burden of another to provide for him, then you are immoral. The important issue the provider's choice to provide or not to provide as an act of charity or kindness. When the government steps in and provides food, clothing, shelter or medical care as an entitlement, then it creates an ever growing dependency class. It is as old as the Chinese Proverb byConfucious who said: "Give a man a fish for a day and he will return asking for more fish the next day, and again the day after, but, teach him to fish and he will provide his own fish for his lifetime."

  • WilliamJamesWard

    For those who care about their fellow man it is emotive to put the question before them concerning dire straits and where the heart is true self recrimination may over
    reach comon sense. To abandon the other is self abandonment where concern is
    found in the hypothetical. It takes a real circumstance to provoke people to action
    and I am unaware of any instance that given attention, people do commit to help even
    strangers as best as can be done. Do we all get the best possible long term care
    even if we have the funding, not hardly, it is usually the luck of the draw. The
    government does nothing out of charity, they do what they do out of their burden
    to control mercilessly and feel good about false bravado………..William

  • Ann

    to compel others to care for you, it is called slavery —

  • NotaBene

    If I come across a dying man in the desert and refuse to give him water – of which I have a plentiful supply – simply to punish him, and his children, for his foolishness in not having enough money to purchase water in the first place – I would be a murderer, and a man without a soul. And if that man has friends who surround me and force me to give up some of the water they need to save their friends life, they're committing a far lesser evil than i was.

    • mrbean

      What a set up, stacked and very poor argument that was. It is called the classical dying man or drowning man argument where you create a desperate situation to justify any and all immoral means to resolve it – and your solution is typical – It is the typical leftist solution though – which is if I can get enough people together I can do anything to the individual I want. Suppose when his friends surround you and you resist so they beat you so badly they kill you and take your water. Is that an active act of murder? Notice you dragged his children into the argument as well.