Bloomberg and Obama Want to Be “The Boss of You”
The news about NYC Mayor – Michael Bloomberg seeking to ban large size sugary drink sales in the city got me thinking about how much I dislike anyone telling me what to do. Is there some logic to this dictat? Perhaps some think that lots of people do not know what is good for them, and besides the city pays for the healthcare for so many, so isn’t this a good way to reduce costs? Apparently even Los Angeles is looking to ban new fast food restaurants in neighborhoods with a disproportionate number of Medicaid patients – as a “public health effort”. Which also brings to mind Julia – President Obama’s muse – and how much she relies on the government.
Most of us reading this are Moms, right? Or at least we used to be children and know very well that the one who feeds and takes care of you gets to make the rules. They are, in effect, the boss of you. Mom and Dad bought the car – they can take it away from you if you skip school. Mom and Dad paid for the fancy new jeans – they can take them away if you sass. Your big sister offers to take you to the ice cream shop if you do something for her – she is the boss of you. We all know and understand this arrangement – there are (or should be) consequences to not behaving as your boss would like.
That’s why it is wrong for the government to pay for so much of life. My greatest hope for my children is that they grow up to be responsible adults capable of caring for and supporting themselves. I wish for them to be happy and healthy, but I know at some point I cannot do it for them. As they get older, we can only show them by example what it means to be responsible. Most of the better parenting books advise allowing children to make mistakes so that they feel the consequences of their actions. Perhaps you have heard the discouraging stories about helicopter parents who have fixed every problem for their children since pre-school and once they get to college, they are utterly lost and unable to function.
So, please, can someone explain to me why it is a good thing for adults to be taken care of by government? This does not teach anyone to be self-sufficient or to have pride in their abilities. It is demeaning to be told what to do. When the government is paying for your entire life from birth to old age, they are ultimately the “boss of you” and can change the rules at any time in order to regulate your behavior. Holman Jenkins of the Wall Street Journal pointed out last week that nobody thought of taking your Big Gulp away until the government itself became responsible for runaway health-care spending.
If we let the government continue on its present spending and regulating course, the next thing you know they will be mandating that we finish our broccoli before we are allowed to order dessert at a restaurant.