What we’re up against
January 24, 2013
A Pennsylvania five-year old has been suspended from kindergarten for telling a friend she intended to shoot her with a pink plastic “Hello Kitty” squirt gun that discharges soap bubbles. School officials characterized this as “a terroristic threat,” later reducing the accusation to “threatening to harm another student.”
What’s this have to do with the Club for Growth agenda of economic freedom?
It’s an unparalleled example of the debilitated capacity of civil institutions to comprehend, much less apply, standards of personal responsibility and accountability. In an America with half its households receiving income transferred from the other half, at the direction of government, this presents a formidable challenge.
We’re at least three decades deep into a civic environment where timid authorities, paralyzed by the thought of suppressing actual bad behavior, resort to absurd demonstrations of force against whoever they can safely push around, to prove they are to be taken seriously.
The bill comes due when the only thing demonstrated is profound stupidity, exposing an unfitness to respond in any useful way should a genuine problem—say decaying math or literacy skills—arise. Closing the circle on the societal and economic consequences, it’s important to note that such incompetence is found to occur in conjunction with a legacy of government union dominance.
Reinvigorating the U.S. economy is a task made infinitely more complicated by civil institutions that lack the judgment—not to mention the moral confidence—to differentiate between children blowing soap bubbles and “terroristic threats.”
Getting the big things right requires first getting the little things right. There’s at least a generation’s work to do on the little things.