Individual Rights — to Steal from Others

Krugman, among many, is shaking his head in disbelief over the welfare  cattleman stand-off.  What ever happened to thinking things through — either by the speechifier or those who celebrated him?

He calls Cliven Bundy a “welfare queen of the purple sage,” which is unfair to queens, of course.  If someone actually on welfare refused to do the work required to receive the subsidy, said person would be cut-off.  Bundy says, hell no!  The people’s land is his to graze on as he pleases! By what right or reason does he say? Reason of ancestry?  My goodness, other ancestors have some claim on the same land if he wants to go down that road.

…treating Mr. Bundy as some kind of libertarian hero is, not to put too fine a point on it, crazy. Suppose he had been grazing his cattle on land belonging to one of his neighbors, and had refused to pay for the privilege. That would clearly have been theft — and brandishing guns when someone tried to stop the theft would have turned it into armed robbery. The fact that in this case the public owns the land shouldn’t make any difference.

 

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