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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • James Weyand letter: Paternalism vs. liberty

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  • Paternalism
    vs. liberty
    The issues in this Mayoral Race boil down to the age old battle of paternalism vs. liberty. Whether it is advocating socialized trash pick-up or an approval mandate for downtown home improvement, candidate Lou Barta seems to think that the government, albeit a local one, knows better than you.
    A letter to the editor by a Quincy Alderman lauds the type of person Mr. Barta is, stating, “They have a history of positive improvement in themselves and others. They are the persons who people can rely on to get it done.”
    This sentiment highlights the issue of paternalism vs. liberty.
    This is demonstrative of the idea that government should be paternalistic - that is, like our parents when we are younger, the government knows better.
    Mayor Roy Hark, on the other hand, seems to believe in the idea that you and I are perfectly smart and capable enough to manage our own lives. He has consistently taken the stance that he believes in the People of Hannibal.
    I would like to say that I deeply respect Mr. Barta; and even have a similar passion for the arts. However, on the this over-arching issue of paternalism vs. liberty, I have to agree with Mayor Hark. I think I speak for a large number of people in saying that I’ve had enough of the federal and state government trying to tell me how to improve, change or live my life; I certainly don’t need our local government to do the same.
    James Weyand
    Hannibal

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