So, “believing” food stamps is promoting slavery? What the heck does that mean?
“As humans, yeah, we do have an obligation to give people water, to give people food, to give people health care,” Paul allowed, “but it’s not a right because once you conscript people and say, ‘Oh, it’s a right,’ then really you’re in charge, it’s servitude, you’re in charge of me and I’m supposed to do whatever you tell me to do.”
The comments are an echo of his 2011 claim that accepting a human right to health care “means you believe in slavery,” but the Senator’s new variation on the theme is notable because it puts the reasoning behind the crazy in stark relief. Particularly, this line: “You don’t have a right to anyone else’s labor. Food’s pretty important, do you have a right to the labor of the farmer?”
The basic idea is that if slavery means forcing people to do things, and saying people have a right to food means the government should require farmers to provide it to them, then a right to food means the enslavement of farmers. A moderately bright high school student could spot the leap of logic here: no one’s forcing anyone to farm against their will. In a democratic-capitalist economy, people have a right to choose their career and, as it turns out, enough people end up being farmers that there’s generally enough food to go around…
The thing about starvation and illness is that they make it impossible for you to participate either in the market economy or in democratic governance; generally, people with distended bellies and 103 degree fevers aren’t in good shape to contribute to civil society or the economy.
Let’s just stop giving people who need the paltry amount of food stamps to get by each month and let’s see what happens to the crime rate, the success rate for poorer children in school and let those disabled and elderly just starve because they aren’t contributing anything to the big money machine, anyway.
Paul’s ideas are just sophomoric and arrogantly stupid.