Napa Valley Register: Opinion: Kevin Eggers: Difference Between Individual Rights and Privileges
Without individual rights that come under a national constitution like the United States Constitution, we can’t have anything that looks like a liberal democracy. Meaning a country where the people have the freedom over their own individual lives. That is why the Constitution is so important, which I hope I made clear last night. Otherwise we would just be a place where government governs itself and the people and really except for perhaps elections. Where again elections wouldn’t be guaranteed either without a Constitution guaranteeing them for us.
Because government would then be able to stop elections from happening in the first place. We would still be at the mercy so to speak of the Federal Government and dependents on them. Instead of the people they are supposed to serve, which is different. So the individual rights that we have in America are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and that is the document that constrains what the government can do.
Privileges are different things that government can give to the people by passing laws. Things like health care and health insurance for the elderly population and the people who live in poverty. Unemployment Insurance for people who are out of work. Food Assistance for people who do not make enough money to feed themselves. Welfare Insurance for people who do not have the skills that they need to get themselves a good job. That allows for them to be able to take care of themselves and not need public assistance in order to survive.
These aren’t constitutional rights but public subsidies that the Federal Government has decided to give certain populations in order for them to be able to survive and to benefit the community as a whole. To have fewer people living on the street and ending up stealing to fill the gap that they have, that doesn’t allow for them to be able to pay their own bills.
Constitutional rights are things that we always have because they are almost impossible to repeal. But privileges or subsidies are things that government gives people to make their lives easier for them. Because they do not make enough money to take care of themselves. But they can always be taken away from people by an act of Congress and a presidential signature. When the Federal Government decides to take those things away.