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.