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« Juan Ramon Rallo and Lawrence H. White Discuss Free Banking Theory and Policy | Main | Happy Birthday to Professor Donald Boudreaux »


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From the Cato excerpt link, I comment as follows: Just who is the "rest of us," supposedly "contracting" with the sub-par set of parents, and who, in a concrete sense speaks for the "us." Is it some two-year graduate of the School of Social Work from State College working for some state bureaucracy, or, simply, the impact of the social mores of the community acting with no "force of law" but just persuasion and the threat of ostracism or whatever is available.

Am I, as a member of the "rest of us," really morally compelled to learn and be concerned about what goes on in some community in Wisconsin or West Virginia, or in some family across town? Or be coerced into hiring intrusive policepersons to do this task on my behalf? Is this not, for better or worse, a matter for family and, in really shocking cases, very local concern. That, was, as I recall, the case when I was being reared.

Let's leave contract law out of all this. It has already been beaten up rather badly in the last period of statism, without being brought into this particular problem. And "quasi-contract" should be left to dealings among actual individual parties.

Congrats on the book, Steve, which I have not read. But, following on Julie, it does seem to me that there are some situations where the state, probably at the local level, has the right and responsibility to put some limit on the power over their children of parents. The obvious sort of situation would involve some sort of violent or sexual abuse of the children by the parents, and, unfortunately, these sorts of things do occur.

I am also fine with the state setting some sorts of rules regarding education and health care for children as well, although how strict those should be or the form they take I see as clearly wide open to discussion.

What gives you the impression that I think parents can abuse their kids Barkley? How best to handle that is a good question, but really... why would you feel the need to make the first comment? Particularly when you admit to not having read the book (in which I argue that such behaviors are not acceptable).

Fair enough complaint, Steve, and glad you are not for child abuse. But, i did not "make the first comment." Third, I think.

My congratulations to Steve.

The family is a pivotal institution in society, and deserves a classical liberal or libertarian analysis. Hayek is a great starting point.

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