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flatlander:Babysitting Eagle County

Austin Richardson
Vail CO, Colorado
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There’s no doubt that early child development programs help kids. But let’s face facts … those programs benefit parents just as much. Let’s call it what it really is … parents looking for a government hand-out.

Here’s the reality. Eagle County’s economy moves through tourism. As much as everyone would like to think that Eagle County is a “place to raise your kids,” it’s not. Eagle County is a resort community full of second homeowners and workers. Want kids? Go back to the suburbs where you can buy diapers at your choice of discount stores.

All the towns in Eagle County are vying for families. That’s where the steady money is. That’s where any future tax-base lies. That’s where a county of boom towns falls short. A community of second-homeowners doesn’t need public day care centers. Saying anything against “our future” is morally reprehensible, that is until politicians decide taxpayers need to charge thier political cannons for electoral battle.

“Why … why …. how could someone say such a thing about my precious child? Can’t that moron see that my child is the shining star of my life and therefore the most important being on the planet? Can’t that moron understand how utterly supreme and wonderful my child is? Isn’t it obvious?”

The only thing having children proves is that you are fertile. Nothing more. Having children has no more to do with being responsible than not spreading HIV.

Unfortunately, a person without children “simply cannot understand what it’s like to be a parent.”

Whatever.

I know that some parents are better than others. I know the best parents aren’t counting on handouts to take care of their children. And yes, I know that children are our most precious resource.

I know that a percentage of my paycheck goes to other people’s kids already. And that goes for childcare benefits funded by the federal government, individual employers and the state.

To those folks, I ask … “if having kids makes you somehow more ‘aware’ then why didn’t you realize how expensive having kids is?”

The short answer is “yes, we knew how expensive it is to have kids here in Eagle County, but we don’t care …. these are our CHILDREN for Heaven’s Sake.”

Quite frankly it’s because parents know, deep down, that somebody else will ultimately take care of their kids. So, really, why be responsible when you don’t have to be?

The way it works is that if you have kids, you have to take care of them. Or not. More to the point, if you have kids, you have to make sure someone is watching them, lest you get in trouble with the law.

All of the feel-good rhetoric surrounding the measure is great. There’s nothing new in any of it. Studies are made by people who want something. That’s the bottom line. And if the results of any survey don’t jibe with a certain political agenda, there’s always another “focus group.”

And, of course, there could be more programs for children. Just like there can never be too many firemen, policemen or teachers. It’s all the same, simply spread the cost and nobody will notice. That is until it’s time to pay the tax bill. And even then, most of the folks paying taxes on their second homes don’t really care that much either way.

It’s not up to the government to take care of your kids. No matter what program came before, it’s not the collective’s responsibility to provide cheap day care. Subsidizing parents is a novel idea, but enabling irresponsible parents to continue having children on someone else’s dime is criminal.

It’s not up to the government to take care of anyone, especially your kids. So get over it and use some common sense.

If you can’t afford to put your child in daycare, don’t have the child. It’s that simple.

But always remember you can do anything you want as long as you can get people to believe, “it’s for the kids.”

Vail Daily Web Editor Austin Richardson isn’t necessarily a conservative, but a proponent of individual responsibility. He can be reached at arichardson@vaildaily.com

Vail Colorado


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