Saturday, November 21, 2009

Spoiled brats

I was thinking about the concept of parenting... probably since I'll have to face that role soon. My thought is: parenting is analogous to any relationship in society where one person/group (the guardian) is responsible for another person/group (the subjects).
  • Parent-Child:
    The parent is responsible for the behavior of the child and for providing for its basic needs.
  • Supervisor-Employee:
    The supervisor is responsible for the employee's work, setting expectations and fairly compensating them for performance.
  • Government-Citizen:
    The government is responsible for protecting it's citizens from threat of foreign invasion and enforcing equal law among citizens.
In each case, the guardian must determine a set of rules to apply towards their subjects. Applying these rules will involve reward or discipline of the subjects based on their behavior. So, what happens in any one of these relationships when the guardian is inconsistent in applying the rules? What happens when the guardian is influenced by whining, swaying on the rules and principles? In each case, the subject would become a spoiled brat... someone who's been taught 'the squeaky wheel gets the oil', and that the guardian doesn't uphold a consistent set of principles (such as rewarding work with payment, or supporting property rights). Most private companies will not survive if they operate this way, so spoiled brats don't thrive there. However, you will see lots of whiney spoiled brat employees in public sector or government protected union jobs. You also will find spoiled brats in a nation where the government has decided to provide "free" services for citizens. You see this today in every protest against the government cutting socialist services. You see it amongst the public health care supporters. The "Nanny State" is a bad parent, and raising a nation of whiney spoiled brats. It's time for government to get back to it's proper role and stand for consistent rules and principles... like any good parent or supervisor.

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