I'm a Pundit Too

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Nanny State Politics

A recent study has revealed that teenagers in Great Britain are the worst mannered teens in all of Europe. The study found that the British youth are more likely to have been in fights, use drugs, engage in underage sex(I could not find the study’s definition of “underage”), and rarely sit down to a meal with their parents. Most of the findings of this study are not surprising and probably could have been done in the United States with some of the same results. What I found shocking was the response and the suggested cures to the behavioral problems found in many teenagers.

The British government officials plan to spend 1.4 billion pounds to keep schools open 10 hours a day for art and drama clubs and “out of hours” homework. They hope to promote mothers going back to work full time and to aid “latchkey” children in the after school hours. I am all for art and drama clubs and providing help for the unattended children, but why do they think that the kids will automatically just show up at these clubs? My biggest problem with their ideas is that bureaucrats always believe the best answer to any problem is a government program.

Another issue I have is their desire to draw more mothers back to full time work. Now I realize that some families need both parents to work in order to survive, but I don’t see how a mother being away from her children more hours of the day is a solution to a behavior problem. If the politicians want to find a government program to help, I believe a better program would be finding ways so that one parent could stay at home with the children.

When did we get away from parents actually taking the responsibility for raising their children? This is a problem here in the U.S. and apparently Great Britain as well. Our societies have developed a mentality that the government has all the answers and therefore the responsibility for every aspect of raising our children. We have shirked off our responsibility as parents to teach our children about sex. We have come to believe that the government schools are better equipped to teach our offspring about sex, whether or not we may agree with what they are teaching. We allow the schools to teach our children their values and then question why the kids are so ill mannered.

Of course this mentality of the “Nanny-state” is not exclusive to child rearing, it has taken over almost every aspect of our lives. After all why shouldn’t we have government funded/run health care, or welfare, or retirement? With the bureaucrats record of accomplishments, they are the best equipped to cause the program in question to cost ten times as much and never achieve the promised result. The same politicians with whom we have entrusted our children’s welfare, seem unable to solve the chronic drugs and crime problems in many of our cities.

We need to take responsibility for the education and raising of our children, as well as every other aspect of our lives. There are way too many adults that need to grow up and realize that if they are going to achieve any type of personal, financial, or business success, they need to do it themselves. I can think of no successful person throughout history that has ever had to stop and thank the government for making them a success. Government programs always start out with the best of intentions, but always end up costing way more than predicted and never truly solving the problem they were “designed” to solve.



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