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The obsessive regulation of children is a leftover from the days when activists and sociologists insisted that the only way to defeat poverty was through aggressive education and a dose of eugenics. We have plenty of both today, but the war has been going the other way. More Americans are sliding into poverty at the hands of the system created to fight poverty.
The regulatory state is limiting marriage to the well off and limiting children to two categories of parents: the well off and the welfare rolls. The middle class and the working class, which are expected to subsidize the regulatory initiatives of well off leftists and the social benefits of the badly off, are falling into the hole between them. These are not just the majority of the population, they are also the backbone of the country and the protectors of its democracy. In their absence, cities take on the characteristics of failed states, with gated communities divided from ghettos and barrios.
In the eyes of the nanny state, we are all children, especially the children. The helicopter parenting of leftist yuppies translates into regulatory helicopter parenting over the entire population. An elite no longer satisfied with keeping sugary drinks out of their own home wants to ban it from all homes. But the tighter the regulations bind, the fewer children there are to regulate.
The countries with the tightest regulations also have the fewest children. Europe, which regulates children to a degree that most Americans can’t even begin to imagine, is suffering catastrophic fertility failure.
Why have parents at all? Why not just pay host mothers to be artificially impregnated with children to be raised in carefully controlled environments without exposure to religion, racism, circumcision or Happy Meals? The Nazis took their own shot at it with the Lebensborn program. A modern Lebensborn program would raise genetically diverse children to think and believe the same things. And as outrageous as the comparison might be, the wheels of the regulatory state are slowly grinding that way.
Germany’s criminalization of homeschooling has led to court cases, imprisonment and even a political asylum case. And yet Germany’s birth rate is at a record low. Within a generation its working population will fall by a third. The German government has managed to raise it slightly with expensive social initiatives. But European governments, like their counterparts in the United States, are not interested in children per se, but only in the kind of children they approve of.
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