Nudge plus vouchers = “Nanny state”?

Do you like or dislike this mix?:

The prime minister [of the UK] will call for a revolution in child rearing this weekend by suggesting that all parents should attend classes on how to discipline their children.

In a move likely to enrage those fearful of an encroaching “nanny state”,  David Cameron will say that it should be the norm for parents to receive instruction on how to behave around their offspring.

As part of a speech on the family, Cameron will announce plans for a parenting classes voucher scheme, claiming that all parents need help and that there is too little state-sponsored guidance on offer.

I believe most Americans at least do not find this an intuitively appealing combination of policies.  It seems to “insult” the poor at the same time that it brings the state into what for conservatives is the sacred realm of the family.

I wish I could say a policy which irritates so many people is likely to be a good thing, yet I can’t quite see this one working out for the better.  And yes I do know the RCT evidence that personal trainers and coaches can improve the lives of the poor in the developing world.


Comments for this post are closed