Mar 3 • 47M

"Won't somebody please think of the children?" with Elizabeth Bruenig and Tim Carney

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Very Serious is a weekly conversation with top political commentators, columnists and policymakers, focused on how events in the news relate to major, long-standing controversies in politics, economics and culture. Host Josh Barro is joined by a rotating set of regular guests to work out the ideas behind the arguments on topics serious and not-so-serious. It’s a great conversation across ideological lines that will leave you entertained, enlightened, and maybe even persuaded.
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Children are necessarily central to our politics. Their lives are highly regulated by the state, which ensures (among other things) that they are educated rather than employed, that they are supported by their parents or someone else if their parents are unable. The other authority in children’s lives is, of course, their parents. A liberal society is based on the idea that we butt out of each other’s decisions and let people live according to the beliefs they want, but we must make collective decisions about how the government interfaces with children – and what it will permit and require parents to do with regard to their children. How we make those decisions is at the center of many current political debates. In this episode, Josh Barro talks with The Atlantic’s Elizabeth Bruenig, author of the piece “Kids Have No Place in a Liberal Democracy,” and Tim Carney of the Washington Examiner and the American Enterprise Institute.












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