Down Will Come the Welfare State, Cradle and All
Cradles and Safety Nets
by Gary North
Rock a bye baby in the treetop,
When the wind blows the cradle will rock,
When the bough breaks the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all.
I have never understood the setting of this nursery rhyme. What is a cradle doing in a treetop? Why is a baby in it?
This nursery rhyme is more appropriate today than ever before in Western history. Politicians around the world have passed laws that offer free cradles. “Put your child in a government-funded cradle high in a tree at no risk. Your child can enjoy the rocking of the cradle for hours. Put wind power to work for you free of charge! This frees up time for you.”
Politicians know that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. They want to get mothers away from the cradles as early as possible. Mothers, who think they have better things to do than rock cradles, agree. They hand over their children to a series of strangers whom the government has certified as professional cradle-rockers.
All over the world, governments pay for these cradles. Most governments have laws against private cradles. Those few cradles that are allowed are heavily regulated. As for cradles at home, in Europe this is illegal. In the United States, it is regulated.
The cradles are placed in government-funded trees. Each year, the growing children are placed in larger cradles higher up in the trees. The boughs droop. Caretakers put up wires to keep boughs from breaking. But anyone with eyes can see that the boughs are sagging badly in most trees. There are too many cradles and not enough boughs.
Critics complain that the trees don’t look as healthy as they did 50 years ago. Critics of trees 50 years ago offered the same complaint.
What is the government’s solution? Another field of trees. Keep the kids in the cradles for another round of rocking. In the United States, higher education is a $400 billion a year industry, and most of this is tax-funded.