Do Americans have a right to decent standard of living?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

No, Americans do not have any formal right to a decent standard of living.  They have a right to have a chance at getting a decent standard of living, but they have no right to actually achieve such a standard.

It is important to remember that almost all rights that Americans have are negative rights.  They are rights to have something not be done to you.  For example, you have a right to be free from the government searching you for no reason.

Americans typically do not have more positive rights.  They do not have the right to have a good living or a good job or a good house.  They are not guaranteed good outcomes -- just that the government will leave them alone in some fundamental ways.

anitsmit | Student

I don't understand.  wouldn't the right to a decent living fall under the Fair Housing Act? The right to a safe workplace would fall under the Labor Laws - right?