Debt as a Basic Human Right

I heard a commentator say the other day that we need to keep the Federal Reserve around, known hereafter as the Fed, because don’t we always need a lender of last resort? I mean, what are we going to do without a lender of last resort?

Well, maybe we might not borrow trillions of dollars that will not be repaid to anybody. Maybe something like that would happen.

The shift between the old conception of human rights (e.g. the right not to be messed with via various forms of tyranny) and the new conception of human rights (e.g. the right to free dental care) was a momentous shift. It represented a change from the government needing to recognize that God had endowed each citizen with certain inalienable rights, to the notion that the government should become the god of each individual citizen, with federal corn making the young men cheerful, and federal new wine doing the same for the maids.

From this we have progressed to the next stage — the idea of debt as a basic human right. In the old view, the government could respect the rights of its citizens simply by refraining from certain things. Refusing to charge someone falsely doesn’t need to be funded. Neither does allowing people to keep and bear arms, and so on. But when the government takes on the responsibility of being the environment in which we live and move and have our being, the government, not being able to create that environment ex nihilo like the real God can, is forced to find a base of tax revenue, one that it can twist like a dishcloth. This is because all the rights that some people now have are rights that somebody else has to pay for. In these new-fangled schemes, there’s always something.

When the deficiencies of this new theology begin to be manifest, one recourse is to tax a bunch of people who can’t protest, for the compelling reason that they are not born yet. The mechanism for doing this is called “borrowing like a crazy man,” and the end result of this kind of thinking is that access to debt is assumed to be a Basic Human Right.

Consider the drive to make Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans available to everybody. There it is: indebtedness as a basic human right, just like that free dental care, and free lasik eye surgery, and free chocolate milk for everybody. And now we always need a lender of last resort. Why? Because we must never allow anyone or anything to come to the place when their desire to be in debt can be denied. For debt is now the very air we breathe, just like real freedom used to be.

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