Monday, April 19, 2010

Your "Right to Travel" - No Kidding!

Europeans are proving that the entitlement mentality of social democracy breeds . . . limitless feelings of entitlement. File this article in the National Post by Tasha Kheiriddin, "Human Rights Take a Trip to la-la Land" under the "Things They Were Doing in Rome Just Before the Barbarian Hordes Broke Down the Gate."

Just what is a human right? The right to life? To freedom from oppression? To equal treatment before the law? How about to... vacations?

Yep, you read that right. Apparently the good bureaucrats in the European Union, not satisfied with the mere time off that they receive, have decreed that travelling during that time is a right as well.

According to Antonio Tajani, the European Union commissioner for enterprise and industry,

"Travelling for tourism today is a right. The way we spend our holidays is a formidable indicator of our quality of life."

The plan -- just who gets to enjoy the travel package has yet to be determined -- would see taxpayers footing some of the vacation bill for seniors, youths between the ages of 18 and 25, disabled people, and families facing "difficult social, financial or personal" circumstances. The disabled and elderly can also be accompanied by one other person. The EU and its taxpayers are slated to fund 30% of the cost of these tours, which could range from youth exploring abandoned factories and power plants in Manchester to retirees taking discount trips to Madrid, all in the name of cultural appreciation.

Wow. Talk about a reason to move to Europe if you’re a senior, youth, disabled person, or family in “difficulty”. And talk about a reason to flee if you are a working stiff whose taxes will be used to fund vacations for all these people. Aesop’s fable of the exhausted ant, toiling while the grasshopper plays, has perhaps never found greater application.

This announcement makes a complete mockery of the term “human rights”, which is already so abused as to have completely lost its meaning. The modern concept of “human rights” has become code for “wealth transfer”. Since 1948 bureaucrats from the UN to the EU have seen fit to accord humanity rights to standards of living, social security, free elementary education, leisure time, and now EasyJet junkets to Spain. (Um, small question: how will the same left-wing crowd that bleats about global warming justify the pollution caused by subsidized air travel? I look forward to that little bun-fight.)

But let’s not be fooled: this latest “human right” is nothing more a thinly disguised subsidy for the European tourism industry. Which makes the use of the term even more pathetic, as it has nothing to do with rights, and everything to do with filling empty Alpine resorts in the off-season.

Since I read that civil servants in Greece get 14 months salary for 12 months work I understood why the country was broke, but what I couldn't understand was why the Germans were willing to bail them out. But now I think I don't understand the contemporary European mind at all. And I must admit, that is in a way, oddly comforting.

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