I sent this letter today, because today, in the Utah Legislative Education Committee meeting, they are planning to vote on “high-quality preschool.” Hmm. Does government-provided love turn out better than the parental kind? My research led me to sign the petition of support for reclaiming educational freedom in Sweden, here. http://www.rohus.org/eng_petition.html
Dear Senator Osmond,
Yesterday I saw the attached 6-minute video about Swedish families fleeing Sweden. Swedish government has taken on the role of “real parent,” mandating government schools and forbidding home school under any circumstance, since 2010.
So what? Why am sending you this link?
Something else in the video caught my attention: the Swedish government wants children as young as 12 months old in day care.
Senator, the idea of paying for all-day preschool here in Utah is a step toward the very same socialism that is destroying Sweden, the country of my mother’s birth. What begins as a good intention shifts into a family-damaging government mandate. It starts off as “all children deserve” and soon becomes “all children must.” There goes freedom. There goes parental authority over the child, given to the state. As the end of the video shows, Swedish mental health and the quality of education on the whole is dropping dramatically, despite so much money being spent on socialized education.
I am asking you not to support the redistribution of wealth in this or any other manner. It will have the effect of taking children from their mothers. Government does not have that right.
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Here are a few more thoughts on why it’s wrong to take taxpayers’ money to pay for government preschools. (This has happened in Sweden but it’s right now–today— the topic of the Utah legislative education committee’s discussion.)
1. It’s a socialist idea. It will have the same future consequences of other socialist agendas– collective, unmanageable costs/debts, family authority put into submission to big government interventions, and the growth of bureaucracy/taxation without long-term compensating results to show for it.
2. Even if it starts off only for poor or disadvantaged children, it is unlikely to remain so. The bar of “economically disadvantaged” historically keeps moving until, in the name of equality, it’s free for everyone. Similarly, part-time will quickly shift to full-time, and voluntary to mandatory. Socialism and its branches aim to serve all with perfect equality.
3. We waste tax money on programs that don’t work. The solution might be to get rid of so much bureaucracy rather than adding more layers of it. Utah could give both the responsibilities and the tax money back to the people it came from, rather than playing Kings and Peasants with the money and the mandates.
4. Regardless of troubling statistics about dropouts and achievement gaps, it’s a false assumption that more government supervision and more money gambled on new theories are the best solution. ( And what right does the state government have to push this? –This is not a rhetorical question.)
5. High-quality preschools and government do not go together. The government should get out of the business of preschools, period. It is not appropriate for a U.S. state, that believes in free enterprise and individual responsibility, to meddle with that free enterprise and create socialism just like Sweden’s, or other countries’, by putting itself between taxpayers and private/public preschools.
6. The state is literally going to tempt the middle class to feign poverty or other at-risk problems to get “free” daycare. The state is also going to tempt mothers to drop children in the preschool to to to work because, as everybody knows, being a stay at home mom is the hardest job on earth. And “voluntary” preschool is a meaningless concept when government creates a dependent people by “helping” way too much and discouraging self-reliance and free enterprise.
When a parent is working full-time because of free preschool, how will he/she “visit” the child and how meaningful will that “visitation” be? This is really backwards. The parent visits her
child? Who is then the main caregiver of that tiny soul? A state caregiver that sees the child as a paycheck?! What are we actually in effect promoting or denying? Think, think!
7. Even if the state contracts with private providers, those providers are, in effect, government agents when the government mandates what will be taught and by whom and for whom; their innovations and self-determination are meaningless when they are governmentally contracted (to common core and other government-mandated programs.)
The whole concept of early intervention is opposed to parental authority over the child. The state intervenes. The state is so terrified of seeing a single tragic neglect case that it is willing to take away the responsibility and liberty of all the people. It’s not right.
Ezra Taft Benson said asked “Are we part of the problem or are we part of the solution?” I ask us that same question.
Ezra Taft Benson called socialism “a philosophy incompatible with man’s liberty... Both communism and socialism have the same effect upon the individual—a loss of personal liberty… Socialism cannot work except through an all-powerful state. The state has to be supreme in everything… We have marched a long way down the soul-destroying road of socialism… If we continue to follow the trend in which we are heading today, two things will inevitably result: first, a loss of our personal freedom, and second, financial bankruptcy. This is the price we pay when we turn away from God and the principles which he has taught and turn to government to do everything for us. It is the formula by which nations become enslaved…
James Madison opposed the proposal to put Congress in the role of promoting the general welfare according to its whims in these words:
“If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every state, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasure; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor. . . . Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for [and it was an issue then], it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America. (Madison)…Many are now advocating that which has become a general practice since the early 1930s: a redistribution of wealth through the federal tax system. That, by definition, is socialism… compulsory benevolence is not charity. Today’s socialists—who call themselves egalitarians—are using the federal government to redistribute wealth in our society, not as a matter of voluntary charity, but as a so-called matter of right…
“The chief weapon used by the federal government to achieve this “equality” is the system of transfer payments. This means that the federal governments collects from one income group and transfer payments to another by the tax system…
“Edmund Burke, the great British political philosopher, warned of the threat of economic equality. He said,
A perfect equality will indeed be produced—that is to say, equal wretchedness, equal beggary, and on the part of the petitioners, a woeful, helpless, and desperate disappointment. Such is the event of all compulsory equalizations. They pull down what is above; they never raise what is below; and they depress high and low together beneath the level of what was originally the lowest.
“Are we part of the problem or part of the solution? …We stand for independence, thrift, and abolition of the dole.… Every individual who accepts [OR LEGISLATES] an unearned government gratuity is just as morally culpable as the individual who takes a handout from taxpayers’ money to pay his heat, electricity, or rent. There is no difference in principle between them. You did not come… to become [OR TO LEGISLATE FOR] a welfare recipient. You came here to be a light to the world, a light to society—to save society and to help to save this nation, the Lord’s base of operations in these latter days, to ameliorate man’s social conditions. You are not here to be [OR TO PROMOTE] a parasite or freeloader. The price you pay for “something for nothing” may be more than you can afford. Do not rationalize your acceptance of government gratuities by saying, “I am a contributing taxpayer too.”
Benson’s full speech here: http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=85