“You Have a Right to ______” (Leftists fill in the blank)
Do Leftists Have Rights? Yes, Lots. But They Always Want More. Do They Have a Right to Them?
In October 2023, Ford gave in to union demands to end a strike. The union employees got an incredible 25% increase in wages. And increases in other benefits, such as increased retirement benefits, five weeks annual paid vacation, and $0 premium, no-limit healthcare so lavish and inclusive that other Americans cannot buy such policies at any price. And car companies also paid the workers $100 per day, for each day that the workers refused to work.
It’s nice that some people will get paid so much for work that other people in the world be happy to do for much less pay, we suppose. But labor union gains mean that other Americans will be paying higher prices; higher labor costs will increase the prices $850-$900 per vehicle. And the strike caused Ford to make 80,000 fewer cars and trucks than it would have, driving up the price of all vehicles by decreasing the supply of cars and trucks. During the strike Ford lost $1.3 billion. GM also pulled back its earnings forecast. And the higher cost of labor means companies will have more incentive to ship jobs to nations where people will do the same work for lower wages.
Leftists may tell us that increasing the cost of making cars by paying unions more will have no adverse effects. But that isn't true. About six months after the strike ended, General Motors announced the lay off more than 1,000 employees. When unions force labor costs go up, companies must raise prices or cut costs or both.
The price of a truck just went up by $950? Can we and Ford afford the UAW?
But exactly who gave labor unions the power to force American companies to pay much higher wages and give such lavish benefits to the people who are in labor unions? And to force Americans to pay higher prices for cars, trucks, and lots of other things?
In the early 1900s, the communist and socialist “workers” parties imported the labor union movement into America, including the so-called ‘right to strike’. That “right” gave some people, ‘labor union members’, the power to refuse to do their jobs, and took away the right of companies to fire them if those people refused to do their jobs. UAW President Shawn Fain said of the 2023 strike, "We won things nobody thought possible. Since the strike began, Ford put 50% more on the table than when we walked out.”
Whether the ‘right to strike’ was a good idea for the rest of society, and whether or not labor unions have been a positive force in the U.S., is open to question: Most people tend to say no, labor unions caused more problems than they solved. But labor union organizers and the Mafia, enthusiastically said, ‘Yes, labor unions are great! They are a path toward the communist workers’ paradise!’ And more revenue for organized crime. Win win! Anyway, leftists are still making up and demanding new ‘rights’. Lots of them.
Leftists say that every person has:
○ A right to housing. Emily Bergeron (no relation to Harrison Bergeron) said so in, “Adequate Housing Is a Human Right” American Bar Association (2019)
○ A right to a basic income. “Guaranteed income experiments are popping up or expanding around the country…” Kiara Alfonseca ABC News (2023)
○ A right to medical care. “Among all the rights to which we are entitled, health care may be the most intersectional and crucial.” Mary Gerisch, American Bar Association (2018)
○ A right to food and clothing. "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care…”
“Universal Declaration of Human Rights” United Nations
A right can be the right to do something, such as to vote. But the leftist rights are not like that; leftist rights are the right to have something. It’s a big difference, and one that the leftists hope you won’t notice.
In the context of, say, the Bill of Rights, a “right” rightly means that the government cannot block you from having or doing some thing:
• A right to worship any religion you choose means that the government cannot block you from worshipping any religion you choose. It doesn’t mean that the government must build you a church or provide you with Bibles.
• A right to free speech and freedom of the press means that the government cannot block you from speaking your mind. It doesn’t mean that the government must buy you a printing press or a TV station.
• The “Right to Bear Arms” means that the government cannot block you from bearing arms, not that they have to buy the arms for you.
Maybe a mistake was made in calling the first ten amendments the “Bill of Rights”. That has a nice ring to it, but if they had just called it “The First Ten Amendments” that might have been better. “Rights” suggests a kind of permanent privilege, when the rights in the Bill of Rights are really there to prevent government regulators from blocking you from doing certain things. Eventually leftists severely weaponized the word “rights”.
Right to Housing
Leftists say that everyone has a right to housing. But if you use the true meaning of “right” then you already have a right to housing, as long as the government cannot block you from having a place to live. If the government cannot block you from having a place to live then you have a right to have a place to live. Having a right to have a place to live is a part of property rights, and people in the West have had property rights for a long, long time. Similarly, you already have a right to go to the doctor, eat food, and wear clothes. So you already have a right to medical care, food, and clothing, as long as the government doesn’t prevent you from getting those things.
When a leftist tells you that everyone in America should have a right to housing, maybe you should explain to them that every American already has a right to housing. We say “maybe” because you might as well not. It won’t do any good. Leftists don’t really believe in a “right to housing”, they only pretend to care about poor peoples’ housing, so that they, the leftists, can use that issue to get political power by promising poor people free houses. (If you want to see how much leftists really care about housing for the poor, try moving some actual poor people into the leftists’ neighborhoods.)
What leftists really mean by a “right to housing, medical care, income, food, and clothing” is: That the Government will provide those things to everyone, at your expense.
Leftists’ rights are wrongs. And besides, there is a big fat practical problem with the government providing any of those things to everyone. It can never really work.
The government regulators will use money transferred from the people who earned it, to buy things for the people who didn’t earn that money. Because if everyone could afford a thing, then presumably everyone would buy that thing, and then the government would not have to provide that thing to them. So, in reality, someone’s right to the thing means making someone else pay for it. That “someone else” will be you. How can we be sure of that? The leftists will tell you that they won’t be taking your money, they will be taking the rich people’s money. But that’s never what really happens in the long run. Here’s why:
The government regulators who take money from some people to buy things for other people always keep some of that money for themselves. A lot of money. It’s like the house taking a “rake” from every pot in a poker game. If the game goes on long enough (and the government wealth redistribution game will go on for a long time) then, inexorably and inevitably, the house/government will end up with all the money. (Ever notice how politicians get filthy rich without actually working?) Hence, even if it is not your money being taken now to buy houses, food, clothing, medical care for poor people, someday it will be.
It’s why the common people in socialistic countries (Venezuela, North Korea, Cuba, USSR…) always tend to get poorer and poorer compared to countries with less leftism: The unproductive, parasitic government regulators will always run out of other people’s money. Incidentally, it’s why the Scandinavian countries aren’t really socialist, as Bernie Sanders still claims, even though he knows better. Those nations dialed their socialism way down in the 1990s and reinstated free enterprise economies for the most part. And some have freer economies now than America does.
Leftists don’t really want people to have more rights. Leftists love control, not freedom. Leftists want to take away our real rights. They want to take away our freedom of speech, and use government power to silence all opposition to leftists and government policies, to censor and deplatform you, and even imprison you if you protest against them.
If you oppose these leftist “rights”, then the leftists will accuse you of being heartless, greedy, and not caring about people. But leftism and government control are not the best way to house people, provide people with health care, or feed and clothe people. Free enterprise is.
In the last two hundred and more years, the biggest cause of oppression, want, and suffering hasn’t been freedom and free enterprise, it has been leftism and governments. Who waged the wars that destroyed millions of peoples’ homes, killed and maimed millions of people, and left millions impoverished? It was governments. The people who always want bigger and more powerful government don’t have the solution to our problems. They are our problem.