Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

Big government demands a nanny state

Jerry Stratton, December 11, 2014

Ivan VI of Russia with nanny

Government in the hands of a nanny.

The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau. — Ludwig von Mises (Bureaucracy: Conclusion)

Monolithic government programs create a nation of people who cannot afford to mind their own business. Every citizen must be their neighbor’s nanny, because their neighbor’s bad choices cost them both in money and quality of services.

Government schools mean that religious parents need to control what government schools teach—and so do atheists. Most people can’t afford to send their kids elsewhere, because the money they’d use to do it is sent to government schools. But everyone cares, heavily, about the quality of their children’s education. A monolithic, one school per community system of education ensures that diverse communities will viscerally disagree over what those schools should teach.

Universal subsidized health insurance that is forbidden to look at your existing health means that your neighbors, even if you do not currently avail yourself of that insurance, have an interest in your snack choices, your choice of fast food, your financial choices, your recreational choices, and all of your vices. If it might injure you, sicken you, or weaken you, it affects their taxes.

Anything that might result in an injury, however minor, or a sickness, however bland, isn’t just your problem. It is your neighbors’ problem—all four hundred million of them.

Your right to not wear a seatbelt ends at my government-required insurance premium. The war on pot smokers is warranted by the potential welfare costs of amotivational syndrome. Every government program has unseen costs. We may decide that some of these costs are justified and some aren’t, but we cannot pretend that the costs don’t exist.

The bigger government gets, the more everyone becomes their brother’s keeper. They can’t afford not to be.

In response to The Bureaucracy Event Horizon: Government bureaucracy is the ultimate broken window.

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