Today is the day in the United States when we honor slain civil rights leader, The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Which makes it a good time to look at where we are at with human rights, and the role they play in prosperity.
There is a lot of mislabeling and misdirection going on in the debate. You hear talk about “Gay rights,” but there is no such thing. There are only human rights (although technically you could say individual rights). Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgender people are not asking for “Gay” rights or any special rights. They are simply demanding the same rights that other people are getting.
When women in Taliban-controlled areas desire to get an education, they are not seeking “women’s” rights or special rights, simply the same basic rights provided by the other half of society.
Any law that discriminates against someone for any reason – sexuality, race, religion, age, etc. – is actually anti-humanity, and thus anti-prosperity. True prosperity is always based on people having freedom and being able to benefit from the fruits of their labor.
Likewise, collectivist philosophies such as Communism and Socialism are also anti-humanity, and thus anti-prosperity. When you take away the fruit of people’s labor by force for redistribution, it destroys innovation, free enterprise and the work ethic. While these governments are sometimes well-meaning, in actuality, collectivist policies actually hurt the poor the most, as productive people flee these economies for ones that reward incentive and work.
One of the reasons I state that the Libertarian party is the only one with a philosophy congruent with the principles of prosperity is because of its respect for human rights. The Libertarian philosophy holds that you have the right to do anything you want – provided it does not infringe on the rights of others.
All true prosperity is based on a value-for-value exchange. You create prosperity by adding value and solving problems, and a free enterprise structure best allows that to happen. This can only work however, if all members of a society are free, and have the same rights as every other citizen.
Suggesting that someone does not qualify for rights because of their sex, sexuality, religion, age, ethnicity or other label is nothing more than hate, judgment or intolerance – and these things have no place in a prosperous world.
Today we honor Dr. King and celebrate the progress we have made. Let us also focus on the progress still needed to be made, for all to live in a world of prosperity.