Monday, December 17, 2012

you fix broken kids with science, duh

Aside from the public displays of grieving, how is America talking about this school rampage problem? Not living in the U.S., I'm no expert on that topic, but the soccer mom article I discussed yesterday was posted with vigorous approval by several facebook friends of differing political persuasions. Two conservative Catholics, a Krugmanian/Obamist/pragmatist economist, a Democracy Now anti-imperialist Quaker, and a couple others. So that's my frame of reference.

Part of the appeal of that post is its strong emphasis on how much we love our kids. Especially now, it's nice to hear that sentiment. It reminds us how good we are.

Another appealing element is this -- "we love our kids so much we don't to see them in prison." Good people don't want to see their kids in prison. Good people want to see their kids fixed. Very nice. I'm feeling good about myself. Ahhh...

Oh, you can fix broken kids, you say? Why yes, and that's the main appeal of the article. Importantly, like every political idea in recent decades that has any chance of being acted on, this approach doesn't require you to give up anything. You just throw money at the problem and it goes away. And when it doesn't, you did your best. Or so you convince yourself.

The gun people -- both the arms manufacturers and the frontier fantasists -- like this idea because it shifts the debate away from guns. The healthcare industry likes it, obviously. If the prison industry feels threatened, they shouldn't. If anything, improperly dealing with mental health issues is good for business in the long run. Politicians should like it because they can look like they're tackling a problem while scoring points with the healthcare industry. The education industry, the violence industry, all those companies whose advertisements aim to break down children's fragile sense of self in order to fill them back up with stuff-you-buy (which is to say, any corporation that sells anything to kids)...nobody has to change a thing! It's a win-win-win-win...lose. The "lose" represents the kids of course, but who gives a shit about them?

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