Saturday, May 8, 2010

Oil Spill: Yeah, Let's Blame Big Business Again

Regarding the recent oil spill, we knew from day one that the government was going to use this event to say, "You see! The evil big businesses can't be trusted. In pursuit of profits, they are destroying the earth." In other words, blame big business.

My view on the matter is quite the opposite: Tie the hands of the oil industry for decades and then expect them to fucntion well?

If we value industrial civiliztion and the enormous life sustaining and life enhancing benefits that big businesses like the oil companies provide to mankind, get the government the hell out of the way, and let the companies produce. Our way of life--our progress, our standard of living, and, therefore, our happiness and well being--depend on it. Do you want to see more disasters of this sort? Then, let the government keep meddling with big business and the economy in general. They've already made a debacle of the housing market, and subsequently the entire financial market--and now offshore drilling.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Arizona's Immigration Law: Now the Left is Concerned About Rights?

In response to Arizona's law which seeks to counter illegal immigration from our southern border, the Left opposes it by the assertion that it will involve "racial profiling." Whether or not to use racial profiling, to what degree to use it, and under what circumstances to use it is a subject in its own right--a subject entirely worthy of discussion--but not the subject of this commentary. I wish to bring to light a different matter in this issue.

To give a clear articulation to the Left's position on Arizona's recent law (which they really haven't done), it would be this: American citizens of Hispanic ethnicity in Arizona are here legally--that is, they are in the U.S. by right. To subject their being here to legal scrutiny beyond that of all other U.S. citizens is a violation of their rights as U.S. citizens.

This much I agree with.

What I find preposterous is that the Left is now all of a sudden concerned about individual rights. If the Left is now such a big advocate of rights, where were they on the government's takeover of healthcare? Doesn't the government's takeover of healthcare violate individual rights on a massive scale? What about the right of healthcare providers, patients, and insurance providers to operate freely in the healthcare market?--each such individual engaging in purchasing or providing healthcare services to mutual advantage by mutual consent? What about the individual whose money is taken from him (via taxation) to pay for someone else's healthcare? Is not that a violation of such individuals' rights? The individual has a right to pursue a good or a service via voluntary trade. A good or a service as such, however, cannot be granted as a right to any individual or group of individuals (e.g., "those who can't afford it"). As Ayn Rand identified, when a good or a service is granted to any group as a "right," it necessarily violates the rights of those who are forced to provide it.

The subject of rights is indeed important (it is in fact the central issue pertaining to the nature and the role of government), but the Left is certainly not the place where a rational discussion of rights should be sought.