by Dr. Terry Stoops
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
Thanks to a Google alert, I found a News-Leader (Springfield, Missouri) op-ed written by columnist John Lilly, “Be wary when you hear phrase ‘public good.” Most of his op-ed deals with local politics, but his comments about appeals to the “public good” apply to political debates generally.
That phrase is a feel-good, catch-all phrase that liberals love to throw around to justify the subversion of private property rights of individuals and businesses. Anytime I hear “the public good” phrase or similar phrases about public health and safety, I think of the “Star Wars” character Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine’s scream, “I have the power, unlimited power.”
That’s really what it is. If you claim that you can make laws for the public good or health and safety, then you can make whatever law you want that infringes on the rights of others and claim it’s a good law.