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Letter: Attack on parents

On July 2, the Wall Street Journal published “The Latest Suburban Crime Wave,” which told how social workers are exploiting well-meant but ill-advised laws against leaving children in cars while parents run errands. It told how mothers were jailed because someone called 911 when they’d left their kids in the car “too long.”

One mother described how social workers threatened her, saying that if it happened again, they’d urge the courts to move her children into foster care.

This child-damaging behavior makes sense when you understand how these agencies get money. The New York Times says that the amount of federal money social agencies receive is based on the number of children they’ve moved from their parents into state custody. The more kids they grab, the more money they get. With such incentives, social workers have every reason to remove kids at the slightest excuse.

Theresa Reid, director of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, addressed the Child Abuse Prevention Symposium at the University of Minnesota, saying: “I have had conversations this year with two influential staff members of different U.S. senators. . . . Both were new mothers, terrified at the prospect of having their babies taken away from them by strangers working for the government.”

If women who have powerful friends are afraid of having their children taken from them, what about the rest of us? We know that economic uncertainty keeps businesses from making investments. There is no investment more costly than bearing and raising a child. Parents who are afraid that they’ll be bankrupted by an unwarranted attack by the government simply aren’t going to have as many children.

Economic uncertainty retards job creation. These social uncertainties hold back child creation.

This problem should be more widely known.

BILL TAYLOR

New Hampton

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