March 21st, 1999.
"A Right To A House & Food."
Recently, I had an opportunity to review a report, of the kind which regularly flood into our law makers. This one (devoted to the never ending question which we have here up in Canada in respect to constitutional union) had a heading, "Social and Economic Union" and under it there is stated a policy objective that there should be "adequate social services and benefits to ensure that all individuals resident in Canada have reasonable access to housing, food and other basic necessities." Note, the use of the words "all individuals resident in Canada." Should the drafters of such a document not have used the words every citizen resident in Canada; or is it that they mean that any soul that is cast up on our shores and who slept here last night, and who intends to sleep here tonight, has a "constitutional right" to demand of Canadian citizens that they are to provide to him or her, "housing, food and other basic necessities?" Gosh, is that what it means!
Now, how about the words, "adequate social services and benefits," or "reasonable access to," or "basic necessities." Any questions come to your mind? "Social services?" Sounds like the welfare lineup to me. And what does the dictionary say about the word adequate: Adequate, - "Equal; proportionate; fully sufficient." Right, what we have here is something called egalitarianism, and I, for one, am against it. What is advocated here is an unworkable system, a system of government advocated by idealists, whereby certain citizens, who set themselves up as being in charge, go about selling vanishing dreams in exchange for choking taxes.
Now, no one should say I am against the nice idea that all people should have enough food, housing and alike; but it is simply bad logic to conclude that because one does not go along with another's method, or approach; that, somehow, it follows that, in turn, one does not go along with the other person's goals, - not at all. It may be that one has different ideas on how to best achieve these goals. For example, I disapprove of state education, it does not follow I am opposed to any education. When a group in Canada (I believe it is a very sizable group) objects to state-enforced equality, let no one conclude that this group is against equality. I cannot be convicted of wishing people to starve because I do not want the government to get in the food business, indeed, I do not want people to starve and that is the very reason why I am against the government going into the food business.
We can all agree on the ends, which might well be summed up in words, "Distributive Justice." A number of as might also subscribe to the notion, "to each his own Moral Desert." Rest assured there is a fact with which we must all come to grips, there is inequality in the world and it is neither determined by, nor reconciled with, any deliberate moral judgments.