Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

March 17, 2013

Vasicek; Nanny-like government likely in our future

How does Elmer find me? I can go for years without running into specific friends at the grocery store or the home improve-ment center. But I run into Elmer like clockwork. He waved to summon my attention in the supermarket parking lot. He was smiling, until he began to whine.

“People are crazy!” Elmer griped, without bothering to greet me. “Did you hear about the mayor of New York trying to ban large soda pops? Talk about ‘Big Brother.’ Last I heard a judge stopped it. Glad there is at least one judge out there with sense.”

“Yep, it is pretty bad,” I agreed. I enjoy agreeing with Elmer; it is a rare treat.

“That’s crazy, the government regulating us like we are children,” he added. “It’s a free country. If I want to drink a liter of coke at one sitting, that’s my right!”

“Yeah, I am with you. I do agree that we Americans need to eat better, but to try to force, coerce or manipulate people to eat better is not the role of government. I like what Michelle Obama has pushed — balanced, low-fat, low-sugar meals. The schools are serving healthier food because of it, but parents can always pack their kids’ lunch if they don’t like what the school offers.”

“I don’t even like the Michelle Obama thing,” Elmer smirked. “The government should stay out of the whole picture. My grandparents lived into their nineties, and they ate greasy bacon and sausage and fried eggs for breakfast every day. Gramps smoked cigars and he and grama weighed in at just under 300 lbs each. Them health fanatic people don’t know what they are talking about.”

Elmer and I had waded through this conversation in the past, so I had the sense to resist the temptation. Although I felt I could refute his logic, I chose to let things pass.

“Elmer,” I commented, “Think about this: a lot of parents could care less what their kids eat. Your grandparents made their kids eat green vegetable every day and drink lots of milk. But did you hear about that guy that was allegedly giving alcoholic drinks to twin two year-olds?”

“Yeah, I read about that. Well, for those kinds of extreme things – if the guy really did it – the authorities should step in,” Elmer acquiesced.

“That’s the problem, Elmer. Because parents are not monitoring what their kids eat – or because they are out to please their kids – the schools and the government feel an obligation to do so. Whether by neglect or spoiling, the youngsters are developing conditions and habits that will afflict them for the rest of their lives. Whether the government should take this role is another issue.”

I continued:

“When you have all these single-parent families, and when you factor poverty into the equation, children can end up as children of the state by default. As families disintegrate, America becomes more socialistic as fallout. If you think about it, both socialism and communism are instances of the government becoming your parents.”

Sometimes people say my mouth is so big, I can whisper in my own ear. Criticism not withstanding, I continued:

“For the last thirty years or so, we were able to rely upon grandparents to offer some stability to these youngsters, but now more of the older crowd also has a track record of relational instability. Grama and grampa ain’t what they used to be. Maybe things will work out somehow, but bigger, nanny-like government is probably the future. I’m not happy about that!”

“Well, Ed,” Elmer commented, “You are sure long-winded today. You must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle.”

“Yep, maybe I’ll hush up and relax with a cup of coffee,” I responded. “Want to join me?”

Elmer didn’t bother to say “Goodbye” as he whisked himself away.

Ed Vasicek is pastor of Highland Park Church and a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at edvasicek@att.net.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • DAY: God trusted us with them Well, you heard about my wife and I, and our families from the past, so it is time for me to tell you about two of the prettiest girls I have ever known. They are our daughters Debbie and Patty. They are the greatest gifts from God that we have had i

    April 19, 2014

  • LoBianco: Bigger ethics questions raised in House Turner review

    Members of the House Ethics Committee who will take up Rep. Eric Turner’s case face daunting tasks as they try to answer two questions: Did their powerful colleague violate any ethics rules in privately lobbying against a measure that would have hurt his family’s business?

    April 18, 2014

  • Letters to the Editor: April 18, 2014

    Attendees at the Tipton County Board of Commissioners meeting April 7 were treated to an appalling lack of both action and concern by the commissioners.

    April 18, 2014

  • Letter to the Editor: April 17, 2014

    On March 20 of this year I attended a public meeting of the Tipton County Economic Development Alliance. Members of this group include the three county commissioners, a member of the county council, two members from the city council, and the mayor.

    April 17, 2014

  • Hicks: Measuring the unmeasurable

    One aspect of economic research I think is especially powerful is the ability to measure or monetize the things that humans clearly value but for which a market price is not necessarily apparent. This is one of the aspects of economic analysis that gives it such dominance over other social sciences.

    April 17, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: Bush presents 'The Art of Leadership'

    On April 5, “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy,” opened at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University. The display, which runs through June 3, boasts “portraits of more than two dozen world leaders” painted by Bush, according to the official literature.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bohanon: ‘Economics is fun’ in Vegas or in Bible study

    I am writing this on an airplane to Las Vegas. I’ll be attending the annual conference of the Association of Private Enterprise Education along with two of my colleagues and six of my students.

    April 16, 2014

  • Letters to the Editor: April 16, 2014

    At the time the agenda for the April 7 commissioner meeting came out, I was happy to see that the neglected commissioner board appointments were finally going to be addressed. These appointments had been in limbo for months on end.

    April 16, 2014

  • Hayden: Want better teacher ratings? Ask the kids

    The state may be back where it started, encumbered with a flawed teacher grading system, a year after implementing what were meant to be tough new standards.
    That was the general consensus of the State Board of Education days after teacher evaluation data were released last week.

    April 15, 2014

  • Letters to the Editor: April 15, 2014

    In a recent “public eye” article written by KT columnist Scott Smith about the proposed industrial wind turbine project; mention was made of the “new deal” brokered by Howard County Commissioners with E.ON.

    April 15, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll