The Instigator
Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

Entitlement reform.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/16/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 117 times Debate No: 106746
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I think entitlement reform is capitalist speak for screwing the poor and disabled on things like healthcare rights. My body, my right to choose.


Thank you for a very interesting debate challenge. For this reply, I will be speaking primarily of entitlement reform in America since different countries may need different types of reform. If you want to speak of entitlement reform in a more broad manner, please specify exactly how you would like that to go. I will begin by deconstructing what you said for clarity.

"I think entitlement reform is capitalist speak for screwing the poor and disabled on things like healthcare rights."
So far this is an unsubstantiated claim, but I'm sure that you will elaborate on that later during the debate. I would also be interested in your explanation for why you automatically assume evil intent rather than the idea that people simply disagree with you. Therefore, let me break down the idea of healthcare being a right. What do you mean by the term "right"? Are you speaking of a legal right or a moral right? In either case, what is your justification? Where do you think rights come from, and what is the goal of government regarding rights? I will provide my perspective on these and other important questions soon.

"My body, my right to choose."
Could you give some examples of the kinds of things you are talking about that only affect your body? Secondly, are you talking about a legal or moral right to choose? If legal, you are objectively incorrect. Suicide, for example, only affects your body, yet it is still illegal. If you believe you have a moral right to choose, please substantiate this positive claim. I hope you would agree that you do not have the moral right to use your own body as a weapon against other people's bodies. Therefore, you may want to modify the statement to say "I have the moral right to do what I want with my own body, as long as it does not negatively affect other people." This is still problematic for you and I. If we both believe morality comes from scripture, then we know that there are things that we are commanded not to do with our own bodies that would only affect us. Therefore, we would need to modify the statement further to mean "we as a society have the moral obligation to give people the legal right to do what they want with their own bodies, as long as it does not negatively affect other people." I hope you will agree that this longer but more precise version is much better than the vague slogan "my body, my choice."

I believe, as did the founders of our nation, that rights come from God. While these rights are gifts from God, they still could be infringed upon by institutions or even our neighbors. Because rights can only be given by God, they cannot be given by the government. All rights in the Bill of Rights are simply statements of rights that we already had before the constitution. Because God did not create man with his own healthcare plan, people do not have a right to healthcare. Because the government does not have the power nor authority to create rights, it does not have the ability to give anyone the right to have healthcare. Secondly, rights are primarily negative things, or things the government is prevented from taking away from the people. This is because those rights were already granted by God. You will see the government is prevented from taking away things like the ability to speak freely, to practice religion, to bear arms, etc. These are all negative things in the sense that the government doesn't have to do anything for these rights to exist. Even the right to bear arms does not require the government to actually give us weapons.

All of the rights we possess revolve around one concept: liberty. Entitlements are primarily not an exercise of liberty; they are opposed to liberty. In some cases this infringement of liberty is justifiable. For example, we have to give up the liberty to use some of our money as we see fit when it is used to feed people who cannot help themselves. This is a perfect example of a justifiable infringement of liberty. On the other hand, it would certainly not be justifiable to take away the liberty of people to use their money to buy smartphones for others. Any time you talk about an entitlement, you are talking about infringing on other people's liberties in order to give someone something. I say that this should only occur in extreme situations.

For example, food stamps should be provided in order to keep people alive in case something terrible happens. This does not mean anyone has a right to food stamps, but they should be provided for in emergency cases. Nearly all other things should be handled by private institutions for several reasons.
1) Private institutions are voluntary, thus they do not infringe on other people's rights. It is a morally neutral position.
2) Private institutions are inevitably going to be more efficient and will allow less corruption for the government. This is because those who donate their money responsibly will vet the organization to make sure the money will be spent properly and not wastefully. The government has shown to be wasteful over and over again, so it cannot be trusted with your money nor my money.
3) History has shown that when the government provides more entitlements, the people tend to be less generous. When people rely on the government to provide charity, they provide less themselves. If the government were to stop sustaining this much entitlement, using other people's money, people would inevitably donate more to charities.
4) Entitlements generally promote laziness, unaccountability, lack of self reliance, poor choices, and erase cause and effect relationships. This is not to suggest that all who are on entitlements have these qualities; that would be silly. When government picks people up after they fall down, people will lose the incentive to actually make good decisions. Poor choices would simply be erased by the government at the expense of those who actually work hard and make good decisions. It is possible for people to have bad luck and struggle even after hard work and good decisions, but this is the vast vast minority of people. In fact, these are the people who we should actually help.
5) Too many entitlements become a form of idolatry. When the government becomes your provider to which you are willing to sacrifice other people's liberty, the government becomes your god. We are to rely on ourselves and the true God for help rather than a corrupt organization like the government.

Even if you do not agree with me on what defines a right, there are many reasons not to accept healthcare as a right. 1) Just because you give people a "right" to healthcare, it does not mean people will magically get healthcare. 2) Declaring healthcare a right will cause the healthcare system to become more congested and corrupt. 3) Healthcare will decrease in terms of quality and cost. 4) This would not only infringe on the rights of all taxpayers, it would infringe on the rights of doctors by mandating who they will care for and for how much money. This is essentially a form of slavery. 5) The above problems will cause fewer people to want to be doctors. 6) Since fewer people will be doctors, not all people will be able to be treated. 7) If we include preexisting conditions as is found in Obamacare, it isn't even healthcare. Healthcare is based on the idea that you might get sick not that you already are. Covering preexisting conditions erases the poor decision of not getting healthcare. 8) More people will be able to be covered at a cheaper price and at a greater quality if we simply removed state borders on healthcare. This would help people, the economy, and our liberty.

The right to our own money:
The right to our own property is what separates our system from the evils of Communism and Socialism. When you work hard and someone freely chooses to pay you, that's your money. It is not my money, nor is it the government's money. Perhaps if people were taxed less and given more liberty, they wouldn't need the entitlements you suggest. When the government taxes people's income by 30% those people are essentially 30% slaves to the government. Taxes certainly are necessary, but they should be only the bare minimum that is required to run the government. If you want healthcare, then get it, but don't ask me to work in my job to pay for it.

Government is corrupt, less efficient, and makes us less free than the private sector. Entitlements are primarily to keep people from dying, otherwise, they are an unacceptable infringement of rights.
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