Is Having A Job A Right?


A right is something provided by a contract. We can in theory create a contract that states that every person has  a right be as attractive as a victoria’s secret model.  The problem is, that the provision isn’t enforceable  because (a) we don’t know how to do that (b) it probably isn’t possible (c) the consequence of even trying would probably be really bad (somehow… although I can’t think of any at the moment.)

NEGATIVE RIGHTS, are things do by avoiding doing something: killing, torturing, harming, stealing, fraud, are all things we can avoid doing.  And since it means avoiding something, we can, every single one of us, avoid killing, torturing, harming, stealing, fraud and all such damage to life and property.

Jobs are called POSITIVE RIGHTS. They require resources, and resources that no one has to provide.

One can have a right to a job in the sense that no one can be prohibited from working, who is willing, by a government. That is a negative right. It says no one may restrain another from engaging in the voluntary trade of his effort in exchange for something that he wants (money.)  But one cannot have the right to have a job provided, because (a) we don’t know how to do that (b) it probably isn’t possible (c) the consequences of even trying would be really bad.

THe international declaration of human rights contains a number of provisions (22-26) are positive rights, which were included in order to satisfy the then-powerful communist governments, the same way the north was required to allow for slavery in the constitution inorder to gain the compliance of the south.

The question is whether positive rights are possible to provide. Or whether it is only possible to provide insurance against destitution (which appears possible).  This important question isn’t yet answered because we haven’t been doing it long enough to be sure. It certainly appears that both Europe and the USA are having significant economic, cultural and demographic problems because of these policies – which can only be satisfied with the use of ponzi schemes.

(And yes, I am happy to argue with anyone on this point including our favorite left wing Nobel Prize winner.)


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