It’s For the Children

I was recently reading (in hard-copy, no less) part of a recent speech given by Walter Williams which goes as follows:

Imagine what would happen if I wrote a letter to Congress and informed its members that, because I am fully capable of taking care of my own retirement needs, I respectfully request that they stop taking money out of my paycheck for Social Security. Such a letter would be greeted with contempt. But is there any difference between being forced to save for retirement and being forced to save for housing or for my child’s education or for any other perceived good? None whatsoever. Yet for government to force us to do such things is to treat us as children rather than as rational citizens in possession of equal and inalienable rights.

We have heard many, many times some variant of the phrase “it’s for the children.” Whether the issue is health care, gun control, texting while driving, education, or any one of a great number of other areas where government is either involved or wishes to be involved in protecting us, we always hear about the children (unless of course, the issue is abortion and then we only hear about the mother and her rights).

The reason it is always about the children is simple: from the perspective of those who would ensure that we never so much as dash our feet against the stone, as it were, we are all children. That’s why it’s always about the children, that’s why we often get the “now don’t you worry about anything” treatment when we bring up legitimate concerns with elected officials (as was evidenced through many August meetings of taxpayers and their employees), that’s why we are told that we just aren’t as intelligent as the Geithners and Emanuels and Obamas of the world (AKA “the grownups”) and that we should simply defer to their judgment on all matters of importance.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go get a spanking, ’cause I’ve quite obviously been a bad boy to even mention this.