“Rights” Trample Rights

John Madden and Kenny Stabler-the engineers of a dominant Oakland Raiders team of the 1970s, the duo won Super Bowl 11 against the Vikings, 32-14.


About a month ago in this column, I wrote about the right to an education as a form of stealing. Since that time I heard Jan Mickelson mention on his WHO radio show that there really is such a “constitutional” right. I had to look up the Supreme Court decision he referred to and it is Plyler v. Doe (1982).

This court ruling claimed that children brought here from a foreign country were eligible to a “free” basic education just like legal citizens. Well there you go, it’s a “right” to an education. I never actually found a ruling that says citizens have this right and that’s the question that we should be asking.

I still contend that so-called rights that infringe on the rights of others do not exist. These “rights” are granted by edict, not by nature or by our Creator. True rights can’t be granted by man, only guaranteed by him. (Sorry ladies, “man” is a species, you are included.)

The idea that rights can be dreamed up without consideration of their consequences means that there is no boundary. There is no defined line beyond which we may not tread. This defeats the whole purpose of the rule of law.

An example of how “rights” can legally trample the rights of others is seen in the Oakland Raiders’ move to Las Vegas. This is part of the great “unseen” Bastiat talks about. The use of municipal bonds excludes much of the interest in funding their new stadium from federal taxes. Municipal bond structure was put in place to ease the burden on local governments in maintaining necessary infrastructure. But the NFL and Raiders “right” to fund a stadium with munies is taking the rights of the American people in order to finance a profit-making enterprise. The American people will pay the $120 million that the Las Vegas Raiders won’t.

The Iowa legislature has recently debated whether the state should allow local governments to set their own minimum wage. I suppose a “living wage” is now a right.

So, what about a kid who wants to learn a trade. Many small business people I know have to retrain recent graduates of trade schools on the job. If a person was living at home like most of us do at one time, he could work for less than minimum wage, essentially paying his employer for the education trade schools fail to give. The employer would then have help with menial tasks while educating the employee in a way that makes him most useful for his future role. Minimum wage laws prevent this perfectly logical relationship, infringing on the rights of employer and employee alike.

Governor Terry Branstad thinks the state should control Iowa City and Iowa citizens in the minimum wage dispute. But he is not our creator. He should stay out of it. He should feel right at home in China (in his ambassador’s job) where bureaucrats control citizens’ lives from cradle to grave.

The Supreme Court is wrong in its opinion on rights to an education, as it is on other so-called rights. A right that removes another right is an oxymoron and moronic. The real Supreme Being knows that. We ignore Him at our peril.

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