Sordid, Wretched, Self-Serving State
by Trevor Bothwell
want to convince their readers of the validity or solvency of their
views, the best bet usually is to provide statistical information
or numerous factual references in support of an argument. Sometimes,
however, there’s just nothing like a good ol’ shocking anecdote
to get the point across. So here’s my story:
The other day
I picked up my son from daycare – my wife and I use a stay-at-home
mom who runs a small service from an immaculately clean house –
and his caregiver (we’ll call her Laura*) told
me that a county "child care" supervisor had informed her that she'd
been written up for a supposed regulatory violation that took place
a couple weeks prior, and that she would have to meet with a child
services director to discuss disciplinary action that could potentially
threaten her licensure.
What was this
horrendous incident for which our daycare provider was reprimanded?
The day the government inspector made a surprise home visit, Laura
left a two-and-a-half-year-old boy to play by himself in a secured
area while she answered the door. Apparently this child was
"neglected" for the entire half-minute it took Laura to indulge
this twit, and she maintains the boy was in her line of sight the
say I think this entire fiasco is B.S., and that’s putting it diplomatically.
I know some people reflexively believe the government is responsible
for monitoring these types of businesses because parents aren't
in other people's homes or daycare facilities to keep an eye on
their own kids – you’ll no doubt be told about that one child in
the news who was killed or abused by a home daycare provider (despite
government regulations, no doubt) – but not only do I think these
regulatory bodies are unnecessary, I don't for a minute believe
a government agency can protect kids in the first place.
most teachers and social workers will tell you it's almost impossible
to remove legitimate child abuse victims from their home environment.
Because child protective service agencies usually have to announce
visits and follow many other bureaucratic twists and turns (thankfully,
I would argue, when it comes to the state), the kids who are in
the most dire situations often are the ones who never get support
anyway. In short, I believe there are kids who need help; I just
don't think it's the government's job to provide it.
So what generally
happens instead? The government spends the balance of its time harassing
and terrorizing perfectly normal, caring parents and daycare providers
and their children. Just witness the 7-year-old
boy who was abducted by the state recently and thrown into foster
care for two days because his father mistakenly bought him alcoholic
lemonade at a Detroit Tigers baseball game.
If the government
wants to nitpick daycare services, perhaps it could pay a visit
to the commercial center my wife and I used for a few months previously,
only to exercise our free market right to withdraw our business
because it often violated Maryland’s law
requiring at least one caregiver for every three infants. (For the
record, I don't agree with this law because parents are perfectly
capable of determining the types of service they prefer/can afford,
but this benefit happens to be one I demand regardless.)
be the least bit surprised if these tax-funded home-checkers don't
even have kids of their own, but if they do, they know that babies
put up all sorts of flags when they're not happy. Without belaboring
this point too much, my son rarely ate during the day at his former
daycare and would cry all the way home after we picked him up. Whatever
the reasons, he wasn't happy. Thankfully, Laura’s quality of care
is like night and day compared to those other guys.
In fact, these
days I can't remember picking up my son after work and seeing boogers
in his nose, dirt on his face, poop in his diaper, or a rash on
his crotch – problems all at various points when it came to the
last place we used. But apparently this matters not; it only matters
that some government parasite can show up unannounced and make a
chump case out of nothing at all.
For her troubles,
Laura now gets to worry that her license will be yanked and that
she'll be thrown out of work; notwithstanding the fact that parents
who pay for her services will have no daycare for their kids when
she has to take the day off to fight these inane accusations, and
they could potentially be robbed of Laura’s care altogether at the
hands of the state – all because of something that amounts to little
more than a power trip. Moreover, it bears asking, how well is the
state "protecting" children if it throws kids out of the hands of
a loving caregiver?
I hope everything works out here and that my son doesn’t lose the
best daycare option my wife and I have found to date. In reality,
this charade is most likely all just part of the state's quest to
collect yet more revenue from the sheeple, this time in the form
of a nice little fine, which will undoubtedly (and rightly) be passed
on to customers.
There is much
more we could discuss than this immediate issue alone – for instance,
I could explain why licenses, certifications, and the like are largely
worthless – but you get the idea. However, to take just this one
example, what does it matter if daycare providers are "licensed"
anyhow? Licensure is nothing more than a way for private companies
to use the state to artificially limit competition, or in this case,
for the government to fund busybodies to harass us under the pretense
that it’s providing some "service."
If but one
bona fide child abuse victim is whisked from an abuser as a result
of government regulations, it's hailed as an amazing success and
used as fodder that simply justifies rounding up the rest of us
under the state's umbrella of tyranny on the off-chance it’ll "save"
someone else. But here's the kicker: Any daycare provider who harms
a child via negligence or violence can be sued, either civilly or
criminally, regardless of whether she's licensed by the state or
not. So what's next? State-sponsored spying on grandmothers who
watch their grandchildren voluntarily during the day? Legislation
allowing government thugs to peer through our windows to ensure
kids are in their parents’ midst 24/7?
else, the market will do a better job of protecting children than
any government agency ever could. Parents free to make decisions
about their children's welfare on a daily basis are much more qualified
to pass judgment than some government hack who comes around twice
As it stands,
we're apparently left to watch as the state continually proves that
all it's really good at is destroying anything that makes our lives
convenient, pleasurable, and, yes, safe.
a pseudonym used to protect the identity of my son’s daycare provider,
who is being raked over the coals by the state for no apparent reason
understood by rational human beings. The meaning
of the name Laura is the laurel or sweet bay tree, symbolic of honor
[send him mail] maintains
the web log, Who’s
Your Nanny?, and he is also a contributing author to
the forthcoming Ron Paul biography, Ron
Paul: A Life.
© 2008 LewRockwell.com