Monday, November 24, 2008

Rob from the rich and give to the fat

Everywhere one looks, one can see the socialists engaging in the redistribution of property. It is not a new phenomenon, and it grows more extensive with every incoming freshman class. However, I was sent an article that makes me look once again at the absurd course the world is taking.

Article Link Here - Reuters

This article describes how The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that "obese individuals have the right to two airline tickets for the price of one on domestic flights." Pause for a moment and re-read that statement if you must. This is not some peculiar, local district court ruling or some scribbled platform of a fringe advocacy group... this is a ruling from Canada's Supreme Court. It is now ILLEGAL for an airline company to charge the price of two seats when those two seats happen to be filled by one individual.

The thought of someone being so fat that they required two seats to fly is almost as disgusting as forcing the person in the third seat to ponder the fact that he is actually subsidizing the presence of the huge monstrosity next to him. Not only is the person in the third seat unable to go to the restroom when he pleases, due to the blockade, but he is also unable to spend $X on something else he desired, because a tiny portion of his ticket price will reflect the loss the airline must endure in light of the Supreme Court's decision.

Because, you see, by giving a fat person two seats for the price of one, that's the same as selling two tickets at half price. Halving the revenue of two seats will actually cost the airline more than it makes, because less than half of one full ticket price constitutes profit (few industries in the world can claim a 50% profit rate). The airline will thus be selling the fat man his tickets at a loss... which is the same as the airline paying to fly the fat man to his desired destination. An airline is just a group of people, so really this means that a group of people is being forced to fly the fat man to his destination.

Further, because the fat man can choose to fly whenever he so chooses, and because the group of shareholders must pay for his flight (either through direct loss, or opportunity costs, or slowed business due to budget restraints, etc), Canada's Supreme Court has essentially given the fat man the right to steal property from the shareholders. And the Supreme Court states it as a right! The Court proclaims the fat man has a right to the half-priced seats... so he thus has a right, a god-given right, to usurp wealth from those he desires service from.

Let there be no delusions that what is going on is in any way a just, moral, voluntary transaction. The price at which the airline is willing to sell the seat is not the price being paid, yet they are still forced to make the sale.

There is no fundamental difference between this scenario and one in which a man offers to sell an apple at a certain price, only to be forced to sell it at half that price. Can it honestly be claimed that a man owns an item of property if he has not the authority to set the price at which he is content to part with it? Can it honestly be claimed that shareholders really own an airline if their ability to set the price of its seats is not honored? What defines property if not the ability to utilize or sell as desired? Why, exactly, would one buy something he did not have the right to sell?

If private property is no longer honored, let society stand up and truthfully pronounce it. If the age of ownership is over, let the history books record this transition with integrity. If it is truely moral and just to take, by force, from those who have in order to give to those who have not, purely for the sake of ensuring the two groups are drawn ever closer together, then why all this meandering about? Why all this scribbling outside of the lines? Why all this pretending that property rights still have a place in society?

This is an issue of ownership over one's property. Do we, as a society, respect private property? It doesn't seem to be the case. It should not matter whether legislating the rights of an individual or a group of individuals, the pillar of private property is essential to any society that can be considered just and good by order of being voluntary. A society that abandons property must fall ever into the darkness of force and violence, and any Court that advocates violence in order to alleviate the lives of fat people is no Court to be respected.

There is nothing new about socialists or "egalitarians" trying to bolster the situations of the underprivileged. It is noble to care about the downtrodden, and real charity is always to be commended. However, the problem with socialists is that they do not provide charity, rather they "help" the downtrodden by downtrodding upon others. They give to one person by taking away from another. They steal, or "redistribute," property from Group A to Group B, thereby patching up the wounds of one by inflicting wounds on the other. Why this is not real charity is a question for another essay. Needless to say, socialists accomplish their moral goals with immoral acts and this is made frighteningly stark in Canada's ruling.

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