Liberty and Fairness


A good friend of mine who regularly participates in our weekly “2 Paragraphs” discussions recently forwarded to me some comments from a friend of his about the fact that the benefits for Veterans are weighted in favor of those who have less money.  So the issue of fairness was raised, because his friend was arguing that all Veterans should receive the same benefits regardless of their economic condition.  And he certainly has a point, because service is service.  But, as I frequently reminded my children as they were growing up (Just ask them!), “Who says life is fair?”  In fact it obviously isn’t, because some people were lucky to be born to supportive parents in the United States instead of being born to a single mother in Nigeria who is a narcotics addict with AIDS.

How is this relevant to the Veterans’ benefits situation?  Well, we as a society have made the political decision that, at least to some degree, we are going to provide a safety net for the disadvantaged among us.  So we have exercised our Liberty by making that political decision.  To be more clear, Liberty demands that, for example, if you are literally bleeding on the street, I would not be required to help you at all, unless I helped to cause your injuries.  But I will, because I want to – because that is who we are as a society.  It is not an entitlement; it is a voluntary gift.  (And maybe it should be more appreciated as such by the recipients!)  So the Veterans situation actually is fair, because that is the political decision we have made.  As a result, as long as the laws are carried out as uniformly and “fairly” as possible, Liberty is upheld.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President, along with
Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President