The latest “human right” — tourism!

posted at 10:55 am on April 19, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Move over, right to free speech and peaceful assembly.  Freedom of religion?  Stand aside.  If people thought that the “right” to health care sounded like a disturbing misreading of “rights” in the context of private property, the EU may just top that.  They may declare tourism a human right — and stick European taxpayers with the bills from other people’s vacations:

AN overseas holiday used to be thought of as a reward for a year’s hard work. Now Brussels has declared that tourism is a human right and pensioners, youths and those too poor to afford it should have their travel subsidised by the taxpayer.

Under the scheme, British pensioners could be given cut-price trips to Spain, while Greek teenagers could be taken around disused mills in Manchester to experience the cultural diversity of Europe.

The idea for the subsidised tours is the brainchild of Antonio Tajani, the European Union commissioner for enterprise and industry, who was appointed by Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister.

The scheme, which could cost hundreds of millions of pounds a year, is intended to promote a sense of pride in European culture, bridge the north-south divide in the continent and prop up resorts in their off-season.

Tajani, who unveiled his plan last week at a ministerial conference in Madrid, believes the days when holidays were a luxury have gone. “Travelling for tourism today is a right. The way we spend our holidays is a formidable indicator of our quality of life,” he said.

That’s certainly true now — when it indicates the quality of life for those who have earned enough money to take vacations.  Those people can use their money to travel as they wish, within the limits of their own resources.  They can choose to visit European destinations, or they can choose to visit the US or elsewhere, or at least they can at the moment.

What Tajani proposes is a protection scheme for European tourism.  The EU would suck enough money out of the middle class to make traveling on their own volition less accessible, forcing them to apply for EU-subsidized vacations.  Not coincidentally, those vacations would be limited to EU destinations, effectively keeping middle-class travelers from spending their euros somewhere else, such as Asia or the US.

The rich, of course, will still have the resources to travel anywhere they wish.  Only those whose higher taxes eats away at their disposable income to the point where planned vacations become impossible will be left at the mercy of their elites in Brussels, who apparently don’t trust adults with the decision on where to vacation.

In their attempt to set up a fiefdom on vacation, though, the EU abuses and stretches the notion of “human rights” even further than could possibly have been imagined just a few years ago.  Taxpayers don’t have any requirement to fund the free time of other people, no matter what kind of “rights” anyone invokes, no matter what country or supernational structure it involves.


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Where is my paid five weeks of vacation!

Mr. Joe on April 19, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Oh wait, I have to give all the employees paid five weeks. No vacation for the boss, who is driven to be broke by all these “rights.” Then no jobs for everyone.

We all have lots of vacation. That is what unemployment insurance is all about.

Mr. Joe on April 19, 2010 at 10:58 AM

This won’t affect my 13th month will it?

Aviator on April 19, 2010 at 10:59 AM

And they’re proposing this on the heels of Greece needing a multi-billion euro bailout and several other EU nations on the verge of bankruptcy?

That would be like our government adding a new multi-trillion dollar entitlement when our existing entitlements are already trillions of dollars in the hole….oh wait.

Doughboy on April 19, 2010 at 10:59 AM

The idea of civil rights is that I have a right not to have my own person and property appropriated from me without due process. If you have to appropriate property from someone else to give me a “right,” it is not a right, it is a bribe for my vote.

Sekhmet on April 19, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Oh, good Lord!

Cindy Munford on April 19, 2010 at 11:00 AM

WAAAHHHH!!! I can’t afford to go to Italy for that trip my wife and I always wanted to take!

MY BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS ARE BEING VIOLATED! WAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!

UltimateBob on April 19, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Don’t laugh.

The Democrats will soon be claiming that you have A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO HAVE SIX WEEKS PAID VACATION.

Under the “Paid Vacation Clause” of the Bill of Rights, or something.

Good Lt on April 19, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Probably only a matter of time before President Wonderful imposes something like this on our 57 states…

D2Boston on April 19, 2010 at 11:02 AM

This is a great idea that needs to be implemented immediately. As a northerner put me in for Orlando in January. Thanks.

MarkT on April 19, 2010 at 11:02 AM

It’s time to update the Constitution….not.

BottomLine5 on April 19, 2010 at 11:02 AM

A local TV news reporter out of Boston-WCVB did a story this past weekend about the decision of a private company (Spirit Airlines) to charge $45 for carry on luggage. She said that it was a right to be able to carry on luggage for free. A right she said. She went on to state that government should step in to protect that right. Nothing in the story about having the choice to not choose to fly with Spirit, and go with, say Southwest, where bags fly free (that’s for you Tony737)!
I don’t recall where that right is written. Can anyone help me out? /s

rslancer14 on April 19, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Where is my paid five weeks of vacation!

Patience! Chef Obama is currently cooking your European style omelet. In the meantime, enjoy some healthcare horderves and steaming hot cup of cap~n~trade served by our recently nationalized wait staff.

R Square on April 19, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Beta males everywhere crotch cross their fingers in the hopes that sex will some day be a human right. Er, sex with someone else that is.

Patrick S on April 19, 2010 at 11:04 AM

European leadership is crazy…what are all thee people on? Does anyone know anyone in Europe who could tell us if this is just another entitlement they are willing to go along with? They seem to with everything else…

CCRWM on April 19, 2010 at 11:04 AM

Our tourism industry better help fight this or US vacation destinations who have a high percentage of European visitors will suffer right along with the middle class of europe.

journeyintothewhirlwind on April 19, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Where do these people come from? I mean I just cannot wrap my High School educated mind around the fact that this is what the modern day University System (U.S. and Europe) produces. Apparently common sense is not an elective?

gator70 on April 19, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Don’t laugh.

The Democrats will soon be claiming that you have A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO HAVE SIX WEEKS PAID VACATION.

Under the “Paid Vacation Clause” of the Bill of Rights, or something.

Good Lt on April 19, 2010 at 11:01 AM

It’s already been proposed by everyone’s favorite nutcase Congressman, Alan Grayson:

“The bill would require companies with more than 100 employees to offer a week of paid vacation for both full-time and part-time employees after they’ve put in a year on the job. Three years after the effective date of the law, those same companies would be required to provide two weeks of paid vacation, and companies with 50 or more employees would have to provide one week.”

As if Obamacare didn’t offer enough incentive already for companies to keep their number of employees under 50, imagine the damage this bill would do.

Doughboy on April 19, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Under the scheme, British pensioners could be given cut-price trips to Spain, while Greek teenagers could be taken around disused mills in Manchester to experience the cultural diversity of Europe.

What Greek Teenagers?

I’m kind of surprised it’s taken this long for tourism to have become an entitlement. The elite, the political class, or whatever you want to call them, has long believed that international travel is the holy grail of being “educated” – especially if you do it on someone else’s dime. You know, if you’ve toured the world as First Lady, you are automatically highly qualified to head the State Department, but if you have been too busy building a business or raising kids, then you are an ignorant country rube hick idiot. If your parents sent you to Italy for a summer to drink and have sex with locals, that’s a feather in your cap. If you had to work summers during college, you’ve learned nothing and are a hick rube idiot…

forest on April 19, 2010 at 11:07 AM

So they’ll pay for my trip to Paris? Sign me up for some of that yummy, yummy “social justice.”

Abby Adams on April 19, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Why not? They’ve got plenty of cash in Europe…don’t they?

itsnotaboutme on April 19, 2010 at 11:08 AM

As a northerner put me in for Orlando in January. Thanks.

MarkT on April 19, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Since we need to “spread the sunshine around” as Obama would put it, those living in Florida, Texas, and Arizona will be required to take vacations in Vermont and North Dakota — in January, of course. Tea partiers will be sent to Point Barrow.

jwolf on April 19, 2010 at 11:09 AM

You will need five weeks vaction when you go to Paris and the volcano blows, messing up your flight home.

Mr. Joe on April 19, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Yo,

these people are phucking crazy. It’s really disturbing. They are truly out of their minds.

blatantblue on April 19, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Too bad the EU won’t acknowledge the right of its citizens to keep their hard-earned money. That’s the one “right” that seems to get short shrift in the world’s indusrial nations.

Cicero43 on April 19, 2010 at 11:12 AM

These people truly want everything for free. I can’t get my mind around it.

blatantblue on April 19, 2010 at 11:13 AM

rslancer14 on April 19, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Better still: Senators, lead by Chuck Shumer wants to impose a special tax on airlines that charge for carry on luggage.

Congress recognizes no limits or restraint on their power. They feel entitled…it is their right..to get involved with the minutiae of every business and person in this country. If a company wants to offer cut rate airfare but feature ala carte pricing….too bad! Chuck Shumer says no!

The dictates of an authoritarian impulse.

R Square on April 19, 2010 at 11:13 AM

rslancer14 on April 19, 2010 at 11:02 AM

The CEO of Spirit Airlines has been all over FOX News defending that move. He says (correctly) that the CONSUMER should decide if it’s a good idea or not, and the government should stay out of their business. He’s saying that the carry-on fees benefit the consumer by allowing Spirit to keep ticket prices lower than any other airline.

Of course Chuck Schumer is all over this, trying to put an end to it. Mainly because, as it turns out, the gov’t collects taxes on ticket sales but not on baggage fees. So the gov’t is losing some revenue on this, and Chuckie doesn’t like it one bit.

UltimateBob on April 19, 2010 at 11:13 AM

I know some people in our government that I would pay to send on permanent vacation!!!

search4truth on April 19, 2010 at 11:15 AM

forest on April 19, 2010 at 11:07 AM

I take it as a badge of honour (European Spelling) to be a an ignorant country rube hick idiot Hoosier.

Tommy_G on April 19, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Entitlement mania!

So this is what thousands of years of Western civilization is coming to?

JetBoy on April 19, 2010 at 11:16 AM

the gov’t collects taxes on ticket sales but not on baggage fees. So the gov’t is losing some revenue on this, and Chuckie doesn’t like it one bit.

Chuck is part of the Washington mob.

“One way or another you gotta pay your tax. You either pay me now or you’re gonna make me do something you don’t wanna make me do. But either way I’m gonna get paid”

R Square on April 19, 2010 at 11:17 AM

When everything becomes a human right, you have the right to do nothing

Defector01 on April 19, 2010 at 11:20 AM

Better still: Senators, lead by Chuck Shumer wants to impose a special tax on airlines that charge for carry on luggage.

R Square on April 19, 2010 at 11:13 AM

Terrific. So the end result will be higher ticket prices for everyone. That’ll really help in this economy.

Doughboy on April 19, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Next up: a right to sex, with hot looking partners. What could be more of a human right than that?

After all, why should only the wealthy have access to the hotties? No piece, no justice.

TXUS on April 19, 2010 at 11:21 AM

I’m sure those 47% who don’t pay taxes will love this scheme.

Kissmygrits on April 19, 2010 at 11:22 AM

We are truly in bizarro world. How long will the Euroweenies put up with this crap?

solidaction on April 19, 2010 at 11:23 AM

My right to a Harley Davidson Trike Tri-Glide Ultra Classic is coming any day now. I can’t wait.

Early thanks to everyone!

karl9000 on April 19, 2010 at 11:23 AM

The US Constitution is four pages long — and look how liberals have mangled it?

The EU Constitution is HUNDREDS of pages long. Is there any conceivable “right” that the government can’t force its citizens to support against their will?

logis on April 19, 2010 at 11:24 AM

When everything becomes a human right, you have the right to do nothing

Defector01 on April 19, 2010 at 11:20 AM

But not for long. If the Democrats remain in power, employers who don’t hire will be punished. Bet on it.

jwolf on April 19, 2010 at 11:24 AM

No piece, no justice.

Too funny!

R Square on April 19, 2010 at 11:26 AM

http://www.campaignforliberty.com/wire.php?view=5342

Grayson….

bazil9 on April 19, 2010 at 11:28 AM

But not for long. If the Democrats remain in power, employers who don’t hire will be punished. Bet on it.

jwolf on April 19, 2010 at 11:24 AM

I don’t see how that can work though. What are they gonna do? Fine employers for not hiring? That’ll only result in fewer employers sticking around. Offering incentives to hire is an exercise in futility. If it was economically advantageous for employers to hire more workers, they would’ve done it already.

Doughboy on April 19, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Is eating a right?

Akzed on April 19, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Hmmm, I wonder if there’s a way I, as an American, can use this to take a trip to Europe and get the European middle class to foot the bill. I’ve always wanted to visit Rome and Germany. Surely, the EU would love to get me over there to spend my dollars.

Kafir on April 19, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Maybe if they had to pay for their own defense…

… they wouldn’t have the time to sit around and think up this kind of tripe.

Seven Percent Solution on April 19, 2010 at 11:33 AM

Obama: Damn. Just when I get America caught up to the social norms of Europe, they go and up the ante. How am I going to sell the idea of free vacations to those Americans who will pay for them.

tommer74 on April 19, 2010 at 11:34 AM

They may declare tourism a human right — and stick European taxpayers with the bills from other people’s vacations:

Woo hoo! Blog reader plans trip to Amsterdam. . .

rbj on April 19, 2010 at 11:35 AM

Guess all the Muslims will be making that Mecca trip every year now.

TugboatPhil on April 19, 2010 at 11:35 AM

Even the frugal Muslims say you have to earn 70 virgins for pay day.

seven on April 19, 2010 at 11:35 AM

karl9000 on April 19, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Pfffttt. I have a right to an Aston Martin Vanquish, and I want it now!

ladyingray on April 19, 2010 at 11:38 AM

I think I have a human right to live in any state I want, but lack the resources to move there. Let’s pass some legislation and make the rich folks help me out!

/s

scalleywag on April 19, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Don’t forget that this subsidation will make it even more expensive for those outside the EU to travel in Europe. There will beore “internal” demand at the artificially lower cost. More demand will mean higher cost to those not subsidized, i.e., US vacationers.

AeroSpear on April 19, 2010 at 11:40 AM

These people truly want everything for free. I can’t get my mind around it.

blatantblue on April 19, 2010 at 11:13 AM

Bread. And. Circus.

It’s what leftists do to maintain control. Oldest trick in the book.

TheUnrepentantGeek on April 19, 2010 at 11:47 AM

A quote from Fawlty Towers comes to mind…

“Are you completely deranged?!?”

Midas on April 19, 2010 at 11:48 AM

I think it’s about time for American taxpayers to stop subsidizing this crap via US defense spending in Europe. Europeans are becoming completely and utterly divorced from the idea of cost. The entitlement mentality over there is staggering. I don’t even want to make jokes about it, this is the wholesale destruction of my place of birth. Had friends back home raving about this latest entitlement on Facebook this morning. These are people who are very politically aware but who know nothing about economics. They think wealth grows like berries on a bush and the only thing between them and this God-given natural resource is the evil corporations, who are denying them their birthright by charging them for the goods and services they produce.

Their view of the world is nothing more than an incoherent jumble of bitterness, jealousy, resentment and longing. I just want to slap them. In my own city of origin, something like 70% of the working population is employed by the state. They’re marching right back into serfdom and they have a spring in their step. Poor dumb bastods.

Sharke on April 19, 2010 at 11:50 AM

Well, thank goodness for that big cloud over Europe right now. All we need are a bunch of unemployed Europeans coming to the US on “tourist visas”, never to be seen again except in line for US unemployment benefits.

doufree on April 19, 2010 at 11:54 AM

Sharke on April 19, 2010 at 11:50 AM

Unfortunately, a wide swath of US citizens would be happily marching right behind them.

Midas on April 19, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Pfffttt. I have a right to an Aston Martin Vanquish, and I want it now!

ladyingray on April 19, 2010 at 11:38 AM

See? That’s why the female is always the pack leader. Who can compete?

Me too! NOW! With a side order of the Ultra Trike. I have “special needs.”

karl9000 on April 19, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Gonna be a lot of rowboats out there on the Atlantic between the ‘right’ to a vacation and the elimination of fossil fuels by carbon taxation.

Our governing class is insane.

JEM on April 19, 2010 at 11:56 AM

I thought this post was going to be about Virginia and Confederate History month, you know, because it’s simply to promote tourism and stuff.

uknowmorethanme on April 19, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Unfortunately, a wide swath of US citizens would be happily marching right behind them.

Midas on April 19, 2010 at 11:55 AM

You got that right!

scalleywag on April 19, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Similar tale from here in the USA.

During the HillaryCare debate in the 90′s, the media fell all over themselves broadcasting anecdotal hardship cases trying to “guilt” us into supporting a universal right to health care.

One Lisa Myers report on NBC sticks with me to this day.

Myers found a woman in the midwest who needed regular eye exams to test for a genetic disease in her family. She had lost her job and—with no mention of Cobra—her insurance. So what did she do? Did she pay the $150 for the test? Nope. She skipped the test. “She couldn’t afford it”.

Now, here’s the vacation-as-a-right part. In passing, Myers mentioned the woman had $1500 in a savings account…”but she needs that for her planned trip to Disneyland with her 4-yr-old son”.

Bingo! I thought: “In essence, you’re saying WE should pay for her trip to Disneyland!”.

And now it’s come to pass. Sigh.

jeanneb on April 19, 2010 at 12:01 PM

My right to a Harley Davidson Trike Tri-Glide Ultra Classic is coming any day now. I can’t wait.

karl9000 on April 19, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Why settle, when you can demand one of these?

UltimateBob on April 19, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Pfffttt. I have a right to an Aston Martin Vanquish, and I want it now!

ladyingray on April 19, 2010 at 11:38 AM

I’ll settle for a new transmission for my truck. Think I can get a grant for that?

TugboatPhil on April 19, 2010 at 12:05 PM

UltimateBob on April 19, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Thought about it, but with the bad back, I’ll stick to the HD Trike. You can get a back support that works quite well.

karl9000 on April 19, 2010 at 12:07 PM

This is all about a huge nanny state government controlling the ability of it’s “citizens” to travel, the “rights” thing is a smokescreen. It’s another step towards an EU dictatorship. “In future we (big EU gov) will decide who can travel and where to and when” Next step, issue “travel documents” authorising your trip. No documents, then you get arrested if you travel. This is what Europe has always been like of course, up to and including the 20th century. They are just reverting to feudal type. Except this time the “lords” aren’t aristocrats, they are the permanent political class, academics and entertainers.
This is one of the reasons I moved to north america. Don’t let it happen here!

Blindsummit on April 19, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Under the “Paid Vacation Clause” of the Bill of Rights, or something.

Good Lt on April 19, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Haven’t you figured out the scam yet. The commerce clause is a catch all for anything Congress wants.

chemman on April 19, 2010 at 12:17 PM

doufree on April 19, 2010 at 11:54 AM

You have it backwards the unemployment benefits are much better in Europe than here. If people could they would be heading for Europe.

chemman on April 19, 2010 at 12:21 PM

When and how did common sense and dignity for oneself go so terribly off the rails?

I was raised to work hard and make sacrifices to get what you want.

tru2tx on April 19, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Haven’t you figured out the scam yet. The commerce clause is a catch all for anything Congress wants.

chemman on April 19, 2010 at 12:17 PM

Easy. Have the economic basket case Dem states be declared official vacation states. No others allowed except to provide transit or overnight stays in route to the vacation states.

I’ll bet you could even work national security in there somewhere…

karl9000 on April 19, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Under the “Paid Vacation Clause” of the Bill of Rights, or something.
Good Lt on April 19, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Haven’t you figured out the scam yet. The commerce clause is a catch all for anything Congress wants.
chemman on April 19, 2010 at 12:17 PM

Go ahead and laugh, but this insane farce has a LOT more to do with “interstate commerce” than 99% of the things liberals have used that clause for so far.

logis on April 19, 2010 at 12:22 PM

These people truly want everything for free. I can’t get my mind around it.

blatantblue on April 19, 2010 at 11:13 AM

If things don’t change…get used to it.
Remember the lady who stated all the things she would never have to worry about once Obama was elected?

right2bright on April 19, 2010 at 12:28 PM

I’ll settle for a new transmission for my truck. Think I can get a grant for that?

TugboatPhil on April 19, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Shame on you! Dear Leader offered you free cash for your planet-killing clunker and you refused the chance to upgrade to a Toyota Pious.

I’m telling Al Gore on you;)

Laura in Maryland on April 19, 2010 at 12:34 PM

Ah, but must we pay for people to come back?

Surely one-way tickets are a human right, too…

ajacksonian on April 19, 2010 at 12:36 PM

The scheme, which could cost hundreds of millions of pounds a year, is intended to promote a sense of pride in European culture,

Hey, you know what else can do that? STOP TREATING ADULTS LIKE CHILDREN. But sadly, I think it’s too late. Too many people there (and here) like it too much.

DrAllecon on April 19, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Tajani, who unveiled his plan last week at a ministerial conference in Madrid, believes the days when holidays were a luxury have gone.

I bet Mr. Tajani would quickly change his tune if tourism to snowy, icy, cold climates suddenly became more popular than tourism to hot, beachy places.

This is yet another (d’oh) scheme to suck resources from some to redistribute them to others but certainly to another region.

Lourdes on April 19, 2010 at 12:55 PM

Looks like a “feel good” idea for a continent that is financially broke.

BL@KBIRD on April 19, 2010 at 1:01 PM

US Virgin Islands for me & Mrs Crazy Legs’ anniversary, please! What? That’s part of the US.

crazy_legs on April 19, 2010 at 1:18 PM

Since tourism is a human right, they need to send their “European air forces” up there to try to disperse that volcanic ash cloud, as that cloud by definition is enslaving all of Europe.

Edouard on April 19, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Whoa! A song from my high-school days immediately popped into my head upon reading this. Is the EU going to enshrine the right to party or are they a bunch of hypocrites?

year_of_the_dingo on April 19, 2010 at 2:05 PM

Officials have envisaged sending south Europeans to Manchester and Liverpool on a tour of “archeological and industrial sites” such as closed factories and power plants.

Oh, goody. I guess this means we’ll get “free” tours of Detroit and Lansing! Can’t wait.

jeanneb on April 19, 2010 at 2:48 PM

“The right to tourism” is simply the most lunatic idea I’ve ever heard proposed.

And tomorrow ain’t even here yet.

warbaby on April 19, 2010 at 7:53 PM

Wonder if the Black Sea resorts of the Soviet Workers’ Paradise are still in operation?

Might take a little fixing up, but I’m sure we’ll somehow send a few billion their way for renovations.

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 19, 2010 at 8:39 PM

And here is a great irony/hypocrisy/whatever you want to call it: while tourism is a human right, based on EU actions so far, stranded passengers have no right to return home (re: Iceland volcano; note that airlines have already conclusively proven that safe travel with volcano erupting is possible by the only means possible: experimental verification, i.e. test flights with no passengers).

That reminds me of a cave with footprints leading in but no footprints leading out.

In the end, the two faces of declaring tourism a human right while simultaneously (literally!) denying the right of tourists to return home, EU shows itself a mere arm of creeping statism, not a force for any kind of good in any kind of rational sense.

novakyu on April 20, 2010 at 5:35 PM