Monday, January 17, 2011

Answers to the Question: Why We Need Government

Professor Russ Roberts posts the following at Cafe Hayek:
The U.S. Government Printing Office has a web site to help kids understand our country. There are different sections for different age groups and grades in school. For K-2, here is how the site explains the role of government (HT: Gregory Adams):
Why do we need a government? Imagine what your school would be like if no one was in charge. Each class would make its own rules. Who gets to use the gym if two classes want to use it at the same time? Who would clean the classrooms? Who decides if you learn about Mars or play kickball? Sounds confusing, right?
This is why schools have people who are in charge, such as the principal, administrators, teachers, and staff. Our nation has people who are in charge and they make up the government.
Hmmm. Not quite what I’d say. Feel free to take a shot at a better explanation in the comments. Remember, this is for kids who are between the ages of five and seven years old.

You can follow the link to Cafe Hayek to see some very good answers.  I will post the best one or two responses after a few days.  I hope Professor Roberts doesn't mind.

EDIT: And the winner is . . .
From JS: You know the bossy little girl in your class? That's right, she's the one who gets angry and throws a fit when you play tag instead of hide-and-seek at recess. You know, the one who haughtily tells you that Big Bird is most certainly NOT green when you choose your favorite crayon during coloring time. And at lunch time, she probably told you that you shouldn't eat a grape jelly sandwich, because strawberry is so much better.

In the grown-up world, children with different abilities get different jobs. A strong, brave boy might grow up to be a fire fighter. A girl who loves to read might grow up to write books herself. And the little, bossy girl will grow up to work for the government. The purpose of government is so that when she grows up, she can get her way all the time.