Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fear! Death! Paternalism!


Grind, grind, grind your little axe, Megan McArdle:

Take Obese Children from Their Parents?Business Jul 13 2011, 10:44 AM ET 6
So suggests a piece in the Journal of the American Medical Association, at least in "carefully selected situations". Apparently, a very obese girl who was put in foster care has lost 130 pounds. As Arthur Caplan points out, this is ludicrous--the foster system is already overstretched without adding obesity to catalogue of child abuse and neglect. It's also kind of creepy--the sort of thing that gives paternalism a very, very bad name.


You know who else gives paternalism a bad name? Elizabeth Warren! When are we going to hear about her again?

Meanwhile, McArdle throws a little red meat to the little group of soulless, upper-class office workers she calls her base, ginning up outrage over a simple report that recommends taking away morbidly obese children from their parents in special circumstances when their health is in immediate danger and all other methods are exhausted. Not exactly George Orwell territory, is it?

12 comments:

Downpuppy said...

Some of her commenters (even Mouse!) seem to recognize that keeping the girl alive might be more important than her parents property rights.

fish said...

Some, but not all...

Substance McGravitas said...

To be fair, there are a wide range of opinions on whether letting children die is wrong.

Anonymous said...

What gets me is the libertarian pretence of caring about the "slippery slope" in some things but not in others. They go batshit crazy over the unlikely and extremely rare case of a child removed from her parents for failure to thrive/obesity/diabetes because LOOK NANNY STATE but they don't care at all about the extremely frequent, widely distributed, and unmangeable cases of police forces carrying tasers and routinely using them on people as crowd control devices.

There's really nothing significantly different about removing a child from her parents for life threatening obesity issues than for failure to thrive/starving the kid. Legally the state has a duty to protect children in the situation in which their parents are unwilling or unable to care for them. It has the usual risks and rewards--sure it could lead to a state taking kids away because their parents permed their hair/refused to perm their hair. But probably not. You'd have to look at the specific case and determine whether the laws had been applied capriciously or wrongly.

This is nothing more than the typical right wing fixation on "things that sound weird to me" like "some scientist studying worms that live in shit" or "my kid could do art as good as picasso." Its reasoning brought down to the level of beavis and butthead or argument ad moron.

Susan of Texas said...

It was funny watching them go off because the school nurse contacted them about their thin children. It's routine; the schools check hearing, eyesight, and weight, and if the kid needs shots. There's no hysteria or fuss, they just send home a letter.

And most of the commenters deliberately ignored the facts of the case. All they want is an excuse to rant.

Anonymous said...

the solution in the post she linked to approvingly is this:

"But before we start grabbing porky youths out of their homes and sending them off to government fat camps, might we try to change our food culture? This means doing what we have done for smoking. Demonize the companies that sell and market food that is not nutritious. That means you, candy, soda, fried food and snack food outfits. Tax them too. And get Hollywood and television to make overeating and not exercising uncool just like they did with smoking. Put exercise back on the menu for all school kids."

I like it, but I'm paternalistic that way. what's her excuse?

fish said...

"But before we start grabbing porky youths out of their homes and sending them off to government fat camps, might we try to change our food culture?"

In other words, the freedom attacking program of Michelle Obama.

bulbul said...

get Hollywood and television to make overeating and not exercising uncool just like they did with smoking
Yeah, cause the tube glamourizes fat people all the time and there ain't been a cool Emmy-winning smoker on my TV since 1990.
Jesus Christ on a bike, some people are stupid...

KWillow said...

A lot of liquor sellers, from the corporations that make it to bars that sell it, had positive attitudes to MADD and other drinking-responsibility initiatives (My Mom worked for MADD), and contributed money and support.

I really cannot see McDonalds or Lays or Coke getting behind a group like Moms Against Chubby Children (MACC).

KWillow said...

Sneering "porky youths" says quite a lot about ArgleBargle's mind set. Like so many, she seems think Fat People are that way 1) by choice, or 2) through some terrible personality defect, something even worse than ArgleBargle's staggering lazy stupidity and blatant hypocrisy.

NonyNony said...

KWillow -

MADD and SADD and other groups like that don't hurt bars. Far from it actually - if bars can convince their customers not to drive after they've been drinking it's better for them - less liability, less bad publicity, and good for community relations. So contributing to groups like that is good for bars.

The analogy you're looking for is cigarette companies contributing to anti-smoking ad campaigns. Which they did under court order for a while - I don't know if they still do it or not.

KWillow said...

I think that's what I was saying. Tho selling healthy-ish food can make money: Subway reinvented themselves as healthy and low-cal, low-fat (just don't order the squirt of oil and mayo and...other extras!), and they're doing very well. Better than McDonalds, I read somewhere- tho I don't believe everything I read.

I'm in Keystone Co for the week. Never been to the Rockies before, they're wonderful. But about 1/3 of the trees are dead.