Paternalism is nothing new in Europe. Take for example this story of two mothers who were told they were breaking the law by babysitting each other’s children. To sum it up, the report noted the following:
… the arrangement contravened the Childcare Act because it lasted for longer than two hours a day, and constituted receiving “a reward”.
But to think this is just a European problem would be an error.
One example of why is this report of a Michigan woman who watches her neighbors’ children, without pay, while they wait for their school bus. In that state, the following is the legal dilemma:
The Department of Human Services, acting on a complaint that Snyder was operating an illegal child care home, demanded she either get a license, stop watching the kids or face the consequences ….
Paternalism is nothing unique to any particular country’s government. It exists in all countries, but in some areas of the world it is more prevalent. Governments everywhere seem to always find a way to treat adults voluntarily helping each other out like children incapable of doing so without government regulation. The phrase “nanny state” takes on new meaning in light of these two stories.