Nanny State Destroying Communities

Cato’s David Boaz writes on a truly horrifying tale of how the nanny state destroys communities through crowding out any potential competition – by force if necessary.

He quotes a CNN report that a Michigan woman who lives in front of a school bus stop says the state is threatening her with fines and possibly jail time for babysitting her neighbors’ kids until the bus comes.

Boaz notes: “She’s not getting paid. She’s possibly not even letting the neighbor kids into her house. The kids are waiting for a school bus in front of her house, and she’s told her neighbors she’ll keep an eye on their kids. And the government wants her to get a license. (Something similar is happening in Britain.)  This is what people mean when they warn that an ever-expanding government threatens the values of neighborliness and community. When the government provides services for free, or when it erects obstacles to individuals’ providing those services, it reduces private provision and simultaneously increases the demand for government services. If you make it illegal for neighbors to watch one another’s kids, you weaken ties of neighborhood and community.”

This is truly horrifying stuff.

UPDATE: In the UK, two families took turns watching one another’s  children. The govt, in its brilliance, determined that the reciprocity amounted to a form of compensation, and ordered them to end the arrangement. More here.

13 thoughts on “Nanny State Destroying Communities

  1. Does anyone have any horror stories here in Australia? surely we can’t let the Brits and the Yanks outdo us?

    Forget nannies!!
    These free-range baby factories are unsupervised! They don’t need schooling or educating, and governments currently don’t oversee them!
    This state of affairs should be unsatisfactory to any commissar! Here’s an election issue for a kind, caring party! I hope the LDP will soon outlaw unlicenced licentiousness!

  3. I agree this is horrifying, but the outcome might be different if the babysitter refuses to comply with the department’s threats. It could end up like the massive damages claims that are overturned or reduced on appeal.

    I am a big fan of passive resistance to nanny-state nonsense. In a democracy, locking up good people will ultimately spur resistance.

  4. This is utterly insane. Please tell me this is not happening in Australia yet, as we do this a bit with mothers group members.

    The only upside here is that if this nanny state stuff keeps going there will be a public backlash eventually. If it happens, the LDP should go all out in exploiting that, there will be votes in it!

  5. There probably is an Australian example, that’s the sad thing. In the meantime, have updated the post with a similar story from the UK. Check it out, be horrified, etc.

  6. Unfortunately, people will tolerate almost any injustice if couched in terms of ‘protecting the little ones’.

    It matters little what the debate is – guns, health care, alcohol, cigarettes – there is always an hysterical ‘wont someone think of the children?’ element. The reason for this is simply because it is so damned effective.

    Im not at all suprised that the only real barb those arguing for socialised health care in the US can set is the use of misleading infant mortality statistics.

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