Debate Forum Right, 12/20/11

Another problem institutionalized by government

By Mark Luedtke

Mark Luedtke

Government hates competition, and the nuclear family is government’s strongest competition for the hearts, minds and loyalty of the people, so politicians have designed a myriad of policies that undermine the family unit. Taxes and regulations steal the economic power of the family and elevate the power of government. Welfare traps families in poverty, teaching children to depend on the government, not their parents. Government domination of our economy makes us so poor that it takes two parents working to provide a middle-class lifestyle, further driving a wedge between parents and children.

But no policy does more damage to the family than government control of schools. Politicians forcibly separate children from their parents and siblings at the point of the government’s gun then lock them into schools that are half military regiment and half prison. Once the children are isolated from their families and vulnerable, government empowers a teacher to lord over them like a god, promoting the pretense that government agents are all-knowing, infallible and must be obeyed at all costs.

It’s impossible to measure the damage this system does to children, subsequently to adults and ultimately to society, but Penn State and Syracuse child sex abuse scandals illustrate how the system turns children into victims for predators who use schools as tools to prey on them. Bullying and violence in schools is another consequence.

Another consequence of this radical experiment in social engineering is young teens more frequently engage in risky behavior such as having unprotected sex. When children hit puberty, they’re locked in government schools, isolated from their parents, older siblings, other older relatives and older friends who might help them deal with pubescent emotions and urges responsibly. By puberty, the natural ties to family and friends of different ages that bind people into a community have been broken down for years. Because government has crippled this natural social support system, many children succumb to pubescent drives and engage in unprotected sex. One consequence is the teen pregnancy epidemic in America. Another consequence is young girls trying to obtain the so-called “Morning-after Pill.”

Given that government dramatically increases these problems, how stupid must we be to think that government can solve them? There are tens of thousands or more young girls engaging in unprotected sex. Each teen has unique strengths, weaknesses and circumstances to deal with. It’s impossible that President Obama or some faceless bureaucrat can dictate one policy enforced by the government’s gun that will improve the lives of all of them. Thinking otherwise is the fatal flaw of all central planners. Allowing government to dictate an arbitrary age restriction for who gets the morning after pill can only make the problems that government already created worse. Who gets the pill should be decided by the individuals involved — parents, children, retailers and producers — based on community standards free from coercion by government. That’s why the Constitution doesn’t grant that power to the federal government.

In a free society there would be far fewer children needing this “Morning-after Pill.” Children would enjoy stronger, healthier bonds to parents, siblings, extended family and their community. Few would engage in the risky behavior so common in our government-dominated society. Parents, retailers and the community would establish standards for handing the “Morning-after Pill” for those who did.

Any retailer who provided the “Morning-after Pill” to young girls without parental notification would suffer economic consequences. If the parents found out, as they almost certainly would, they might sue. At the very least, they would tell their family members, friends and neighbors. The retailer would lose business. If the issue became so large the supplier found out about it, the supplier might cut off supplies to the retailer. So in a free society, the retailer would decide based on the family and the standards of the community or suffer the consequences. The best solutions to social problems always come from voluntary social interactions, never from government force.

Government overrides the ability of the community to set standards to deal with social problems. It overrides the judgment of parents, retailers and suppliers as well as their responsibility for the consequences of their decisions. It overrides the best solution for each unique circumstance at the point of its gun. Government cannot solve social problems.

Government exacerbates and institutionalizes them.

By mandating no business can sell the “Morning-after Pill” to anyone under 17 without a prescription, government creates more conflict and absolves everybody with skin in the game of the consequences of their actions. This leads to perverted, unhealthy outcomes. We should make the government free businesses to sell the “Morning-after Pill” as they see fit while ensuring sellers and producers incur full liability for their decisions. But even that’s a Band-Aid. The complete solution to this problem is to abolish government schools and get government out of our lives.

Mark Luedtke is an electrical engineer with a degree from the University of Cincinnati and currently works for a Dayton attorney. He can be reached at MarkLuedtke@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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