Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Protect the Children by Shackling the Adults

Chronicle columnist Lisa Falkenberg demonstrates what happens when an individual chooses to rely on government rather than exercising his own judgment. She decries the state's licensing requirements for day care operators:
Hours required to give a manicure: 600. Hours required to care for a baby: eight. (Oh, and a high school diploma or a GED.)
Not surprisingly, she doesn't question the injustice of such draconian requirements for a manicurist. She simply wants to extend them to day care operators. She goes on to cite studies that "prove" that
high-quality early intervention programs for poor kids improve cognitive test scores and college attendance rates. The research by Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman points to early education as a sound investment, each dollar spent reducing society's burden in areas like remedial and special education, teen pregnancy, welfare programs and prisons.
If you wonder why you should be concerned about college attendance rates, or test scores, or teen pregnancy, Falkenberg provides the answer: young children are "one [of] our most precious resources." One of the definitions for "resource" is "[a]n available supply that can be drawn on when needed." And this is precisely what Falkenberg means when referring to children. In this era of increasing collectivism and statism, individuals are resources to be used by the State as it deems fit.

Despite knowing the standards that experts recommends, Falkenberg apparently is incapable of applying those standards in her search for day care. Rather than interview prospective operators, determine their qualifications, and assess their character, Falkenberg wants the state to take over this responsibility. Rather than exercise her own judgment and allow others to do the same, she wants to cede such decisions to bureaucrats. Not only that, she wants those bureaucrats to impose their decisions on all Texans.

In typical Leftist fashion, Falkenberg "justifies" her position on the grounds that it will protect children. After all, other than pedophiles and ogres, who wouldn't want to protect children? For starters, me, and I am neither a pedophile nor an ogre.

What Falkenberg evades is that in her alleged effort to "protect" children, she places shackles on adults. She evades the fact that some day these children will grow up and live in a world where the Falkenbergs of the world are urging more controls and regulations on their activities. She evades the fact that the restrictions she wants placed on others can just as easily be placed on her and her child. She evades the fact that in violating the rights of adults, children will not and cannot be protected.

She may be fine with this, and based on her willingness to surrender her own judgment, I suspect that she is. She does not want to use her own mind, nor does she want others to use theirs. And she is willing to use the coercive power of government to see that they can't.

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