Chicken nuggets and government paternalism

Did you hear about this story? Apparently a preschool in North Carolina seized the lunch of a 4-year-old girl because it didn’t meet USDA nutrition requirements. The lunch her mother had packed contained a “turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice.”

The school provided a replacement lunch for the girl (at a charge of $1.25), but she ate only three chicken nuggets.

It appears that government paternalism is rising to new heights. This case adds an interesting twist to Ronald Reagan’s quip, “The 10 most dangerous words in the English language are ‘Hi, I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.’”

We have written extensively on the dangers of paternalism. You can read some of our thoughts here, here, here and here.

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