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September 30, 2009

Nanny State Idiocy

Yesterday when I posted on the supposed slow death of socialism in Europe, I noted we as conservatives cede far too much ground already on the proper role of government.

It's not just on the big issues like health care that we do this, but little, everyday things as well.

Consider these two data points.

First, Michigan wants to regulate the hell out of child care.

Each day before the school bus comes to pick up the neighborhood's children, Lisa Snyder did a favor for three of her fellow moms, welcoming their children into her home for about an hour before they left for school.

Regulators who oversee child care, however, don't see it as charity. Days after the start of the new school year, Snyder received a letter from the Michigan Department of Human Services warning her that if she continued, she'd be violating a law aimed at the operators of unlicensed day care centers.

"I was freaked out. I was blown away," she said. "I got on the phone immediately, called my husband, then I called all the girls" — that is, the mothers whose kids she watches — "every one of them."

Snyder's predicament has led to a debate in Michigan about whether a law that says no one may care for unrelated children in their home for more than four weeks each calendar year unless they are licensed day-care providers needs to be changed. It also has irked parents who say they depend on such friendly offers to help them balance work and family.

See, you don't need friends, family and neighbors to get by in life, you need government licensed professionals. If you don't rely on government approved professionals the state will come down on your ass. Hard.

Yes, the Governor is getting invovled and trying to restore some common sense to the law but the fact that it has gotten that far is a sign of how out of hand things have gotten.

In NY, they are even nuttier (no shock there).

A school district in Saratoga Springs says they can tell parents how their kids get to school and according to the district walking and biking are out.

"Supervised, parent/guardian bike riding may be permitted at specific sites in the future," (Superintendent Janice) White said in an interview Friday. The school has no legal responsibility over what occurs on Route 9, she added.

The biking debate started last spring, when school district officials told Kaddo Marino that Adam was violating school rules by biking to class. Walking to the school also is not permitted.

Kaddo Marino challenged the policy and asked the school board to change it. The district charged a committee to review the rule, which was instituted in 1994.

At the start of school in September, Kaddo Marino thought that she had a nonverbal agreement with school officials to allow her son to ride his bike until a new policy was resolved. But on the night before classes started, school authorities called parents to say that walking and biking to school would not be tolerated.

When the pair stuck with their plan, they were met by school administrators and a state trooper, who emphasized that biking was prohibited, Kaddo Marino said.

They brought in a state trooper to tell a parent she and her child couldn't walk or ride their bikes to school? Really?

Who the hell do these government apparatchiks think they are to dictate to parents how they get their children to school?

Yes, I know these are two examples but you can look around any community and find ridiculous laws that interfere with the ability of people to act like adults without the governments approval and it's getting worse.

At some point we have to accept that life is dangerous and filled with uncertainty. Relying on government at every step of the way is not going to change that, it's simply going to allow others to determine how we deal with those challenges.

If you are thrilled with the way DMV handles your issues or think the IRS is a model of fairness, then you are probably pretty happy to have government run your life. If you aren't, then be prepared to fight millions of little battles like these to roll back some of the infringements we've seen in recent years.


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posted by DrewM. at 11:00 AM

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