Government Paternalism - An Inverted Analogy

Cries of government paternalism are common to the point of cliché.  As well founded as I think these outpourings are - I have referred to the issue as helicopter government - I think the analogy of the government as parents is not as appropriate as the analogy of government as children.  Consider the following similarities:

  • With rare exception they are incapable of generating revenue beyond a regular allowance or a hand-out.  Thus they are dependent on their parents or their taxpayers respectively.  
  • They have very short memories, attention spans and time horizons.  They flit from crisis to crisis without resolution, they make promises they have no intention of keeping, and any plan beyond four years might as well be ignored. 
  • They are incapable of grasping the appropriate price of even the most common household items.  We've all heard children quote ridiculous prices for everyday items, and similarly, few have been able to escape tales of government excess in the purchase of common tools
  • They are prone to throwing tantrums, getting in squabbles and exaggerating small problems in order to get the attention of their parents/voters/breadwinners.  Consider the relatively low risks of such hyper-inflated issues as gun violence, bullying, global warming, global cooling, and genetically modified foods.    
Now don't be afraid to correct your friends and family when they refer to our paternalistic leaders in government.  Feel free to discuss the childlike nature of our state and federal dependents within the context of everyday conversation.  Your coworkers will love you for it*.


*Results not typical.  
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