The Question of Rights Inflation (part one)

One of the tools the Federal Reserve uses to control our money policy is simply printing more money.    As more currency is printed, the money in your pocket or bank account is devalued.  It buys less, goods cost more, inflation takes hold.  Simply printing money to pay for government overspending can lead to catastrophic inflation like that in Argentina where consumer prices since January of this year have risen 20%.

So, what happens when the government begins creating new “rights”?  It’s the same result.  The new rights have an inflationary effect on our liberties, ultimately devaluing our natural, unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  What!?  How can more rights mean less liberty?  Simple, because rights defined by the government are targeted at specific groups or can only exist by violating the rights of others.

Let’s take the first case of targeted rights.  Can we agree that every person is born with he right to live their lives as they see fit as long as they do not infringe on the rights of another to do the same?  If so, then we are all equal.  Every individual has rights equal to those of every other individual.   Group rights are redundant with our natural  right to our life and the liberty to live it.  Pointing them out has the effect of holding the rights of a particular class above those of everyone else thereby devaluing our natural, individual liberty.

Granted, there are times that the rights of certain groups are violated en masse.  The fix is not to create special  rights for those groups, it is to ensure that the natural, unalienable rights of every person are respected and protected.  If  an individual’s liberty is violated, then the government must protect the rights of that individual.  This protection is one of only three legitimate purposes of any moral government.

The second case is more dangerous and insidious.  Over the last century our government has practiced the art of creating non-existent rights that can only be granted to one by violating the basic liberties of others.  I’ll tackle that subject in my next post.


About Larry Downes

Son, brother, husband, father, boss, mentor & friend. Believer in unfettered personal liberty. Occasional host on 93.1 WIBC in Indianapolis.

4 Responses to “The Question of Rights Inflation (part one)”

  1. Totally agree with your assessment here, Larry. Looking forward to reading the next post.

  2. You have posted a nice, tight synthesis of economic and political philosophy. While the principles are clear, I wonder how many people have considered rights in this context. I’ll be tweeting this one.

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