The Nanny State Is Here
Wayne Alder sends us this comment and link to Peggy Noonan's latest piece in WSJ called: "The Scofflaw Swimmer- Government takes too much authority and not enough responsibility".
We see the fruits of our "nanny society". No smoking laws. Control of what you can drink and eat. Seat belt laws. The welfare state. This, with the 24 news cycle giving every person with a problem a platform has come home to roost. It greatly worries me. Peggy Noonan gets it right.
Last week I quoted Gerald Ford: "The government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have." I was talking about money. But it applies also to personal freedom, to the rights of the individual, including his right to do something stupid as long as it's legal, like swimming.
Government has real duties in disaster. Maintaining the peace is a primary one. But if we demand that our government protect us from all the weather all the time, if we demand that it protect us from rain and hail, if we make government and politicians pay a terrible price for not getting us out of every flood zone and rescuing us from every wave, we're going to lose a lot more than we gain.
If we give government all authority then we are giving them all power. And we will not only lose the right to be crazy, we'll lose the right to be sane.
Wayne, I too am worried. But we hear about those who save nothing throughout their lives and then after 40 years are too old and feeble to work. We have to help them. We hear about people not regulating their food intake and now they are too overweight to live healthy lives. We have to stop them from eating. Too much off-color television shows and children may be watching. We have to remove them from television.
In every personal decision, a law with the coercive powers of government backing them up can change all of our behavior. Only the crazies will flout the rules, enjoy some freedom until the government sends them to jail. This is what we want?
The concept of the "Nanny State" is that the government serves as our mothers and nurtures and protects us. Is that why we move away from home as fast as we can when we become adults?