My debate with Mike Huben on negative rights and the United States Constitution continues. My basic thesis is that the substantive rights defined in the Bill of Rights and the Civil War Amendments, while often defined very broadly ("rights...retained by the people," "life, liberty, and property," "privileges and immunities," "equal protection of the laws," etc.) include only negative, and never positive, substantive rights.
I have since made a second claim: that it continues to be the case that, when broadly defining basic human rights, positive rights are a very bad idea. This is illustrated by our experience with some broad clauses in the constitutions of some States and some foreign nations defining positive rights (such as a "right to health care" or "right to education"). These clauses are naive and inherently vague, have led to endless debate, and have harmed rather than helped the economy in general and the poor in particular.