When I met Colin Howard recently, he told me about his May exchange on the opinion page of the Kentucky Standard with a supporter of the Nanny State in Nelson County.
I asked him to share the exchange between Nelda Moore, the Standard’s “community columnist” and himself with us.
Moore’s column, “Light bulbs and the ‘nanny state’” was simply over the top.
She just accepts that we need government to run our lives – including limiting our light-bulb usage because we as individual Kentuckians are incapable of making the right decisions.
“Would we have willingly given up the cheaper, familiar bulbs to change to something better? Not very likely,” concludes Moore – like any good supporter of the Nanny State would opine.
But Colin, who is a 16-year-old high school senior and resident of Chaplin, who has attended both the Bluegrass Christian Academy and the Christian Educational Consortium, does a great job of mixing scientific fact with liberty principles – and even includes a great quote from Benjamin Franklin – to refute Moore’s Nanny-isms.
His conclusion?: “A nanny state is not the solution to making society morally righteous.”
I have this feeling that the Kentucky liberty movement has not heard the last from this young man.
You are missing out if you don’t take a moment to read Colin’s outstanding response published by the Kentucky Standard:
Nanny state is not the solution to society
To the editor:
Although Nelda Moore (in her column May 2) prefers incandescent light bulbs due to their ability to be dimmed and their instantaneous brightness, Moore pushes for fluorescent light bulbs due to their efficiency and friendliness towards the environment.
While this is not the main point of the article, I would like to quickly point out that fluorescent light bulbs, while more energy efficient, contain the harmful material mercury. When these bulbs are disposed of, the mercury inside is released into the atmosphere, causing both air and water pollution.
In short, she is willing to give up quality for the betterment of society as a whole. While this is not the main point of the article, I would like to quickly point out that fluorescent light bulbs, while more energy efficient, contain the harmful material mercury. When these bulbs are disposed of, the mercury inside is released into the atmosphere, causing both air and water pollution.
In the article, Moore makes the following statement:
“Would we have willingly given up the cheaper, familiar bulbs to change to something better? Not very likely.”
This statement is contradictory. Fluorescent bulbs have their advantages over incandescent, and they have their disadvantages, as stated above. Still, consumers are willing to pay more for a product if the benefits outweigh the cost.
This is evidenced by the iPad. Although this piece of technology was priced at $499 in 2010, it saw an incredibly popular launch, with over 170 million units having been sold since. Consumers still spend hundreds of dollars on these tablet computers, even though competitors offer cheaper alternatives. If fluorescent light bulbs are better for the environment for a better value, people will buy them without the government telling them to.
Moore concludes with this statement:
“…we need laws and regulations that make us do that right thing, and if that is what some would call a ‘nanny state,’ then so be it.”
I will reply to this statement with a quote from Benjamin Franklin.
“Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”
This is because once the citizens of a nation agree to accept regulations in exchange for security, the nation’s government will abuse their citizens. This has been evidenced time and time again in history. All nanny states, including Britain, Russia and Cuba, have taken what we would consider basic constitutional freedoms (i.e. freedom of speech, right to own and bear arms) from their citizens in the name of security.
A nanny state is not the solution to making society morally righteous.