The “Nanny State” Is a Great Idea

Aside from the phony Republican name, the “nanny state” is a great idea. Republicans invented the term “nanny state” in order to ridicule those weakling foreigners who can’t even stand on their own two feet, and to contrast their failure with our own macho independence.

But those dang foreigners… They pay way less for vastly superior social programs, and we waste a lot of money for inadequate services.

There’s not a thing wrong with the “nanny state” aside from the handle Republicans have hung on it. Life is decidedly better in the “nanny state” because there are many things that the government does better than free (?) market capitalism.

Those dang foreigners pay way less
for vastly superior social programs.

There are three things we must note at this point. First, the much vaunted “personal responsibility” Republicans tout, which is supposed to be a sign of the great strength of the American character, is nothing of the sort. It is just code designed to reassure true believers that Those People are failures because they don’t exercise “personal responsibility”. This is not true. Neither do Those People fail to exercise personal responsibility, nor are they failures. Nor is it true that those supposedly responsible people have no duty to the larger society outside their immediate family, as they seem to think. We are not, and cannot be, independent of the society in which we live. When we fail to fulfill our duty to our society, we weaken it, and our own lives.

The second point is that very, very few people are able to make and execute satisfactory long-term plans for their own security in old age, no matter what their political or other beliefs might be, especially on inadequate wage. We ought to, but we don’t, and it has nothing to do with our political party. When we are twenty or thirty, retirement is a distant irrelevancy, yet that is exactly the time of life that planning and saving is easiest and most effective, thanks to the magic of compounding and the Roth IRA. Even so, it doesn’t seem so easy if our paycheck is just average. Typically, we are jolted awake in our fifties by the realization that retirement ain’t so distant anymore, and we have to sock away big chunks of our pay, thus losing out on decades of compound interest.

Republican “personal responsibility”
is nothing more than code
addressed to true believers.

The third element is recognition that social programs run by the government are inherently superior to private programs managed for profit, no matter what Republicans say. One of the major reasons is simply that capitalism’s costs, including profit, are not part of the picture. Private health care insurance provides no health care at all, but costs boodles because we have to cough up enough extra cash to pay the rich their profit and to fund the expensive private bureaucracy that tries to prevent actual health care. These costs would vaporize with a decent government health care program. In spite of Republican beliefs that government programs are inherently inferior, there are numerous government programs right here at home that have been well and efficiently managed for many decades. Social Security and Medicare are two of them.

We are overcharging ourselves for inferior services.

So we have the followers of one political party thumping their chests about their great macho independence from government, while scoffing at the best social programs in the world, and condemning the American public to costs far above what they should be for this mock independence. This is a tragedy for the US. We are the richest nation in history, and we ought at the very least to have superior health care, education, and retirement. Instead, we are decidedly deficient in all three areas.

Some places are 95% Republican,
in deep poverty and ignorance,
and robbed at every election.

Now, personal independence and responsibility are good things, but that is not what we’re talking about here. Nor are those things guaranteed for Republicans. In fact, you can look at parts of the country where Republicans are 95% of the population, yet it is obvious from the predominant deep poverty and ignorance in those places that their supposedly superior independence and responsibility have failed miserably. Yet time and time again these poor people vote for rich plutocrats who repeatedly bamboozle them into believing they are independent and strong.

They are not inferior because of their supposed independence and personal responsibility, they are inferior because they have voted for people who fail to protect them and provide security. And they don’t even realize they’ve been had. They fail to see the connection between education and a better life. They know almost nothing about the real world.


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Most insightful, Mr. Pennington. Thank you.


    • Thank you, Mr. Hunt.


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