The American Principles Project, the advocacy group run by Professor Robert George, ran an extended quote about the tragic fact that 1 in 6 Americans is now receiving some form of government assistance. They introduce the quote with the observation “The Nanny State is upon us.”
It is true that the economy of the laissez-faire specialists of the Bush years has created overwhelming human needs among many of our fellow citizens. All those tax cuts and deregulation, the guaranteed and still-promised method of growing the economy, evidently did not deliver. And as the article notes, the number of people on Medicaid is at an all-time high -- undoubtedly because the health care system was doing such a great job of caring for our fellow citizens that we never needed health care reform in the first place.
Perhaps those who live in Princeton and Georgetown and other such tony neighborhoods can scoff at the “nanny state,” But, when you are poor, and you have no insurance, and your child is sick, you are grateful for Medicaid. And when you lost your house because the titans of the free market were busy finding creative ways to re-package bad mortgages, ensuring that a downturn in the housing market would become a free-fall, you may be grateful for those Section 8 vouchers. And when your kids are hungry, but you have not gotten a raise because your employer is hording cash, you can be grateful for those food stamps.
But such human solidarity is evidently not an American principle -- at least not when you can poke fun at the nanny state.