Libertarian child

By Legal Eagle

I just thought I’d tell this amusing little anecdote of my 4-year-old daughter, a rather precocious child.

A while back, on the way to kinder, my daughter was trying to persuade me to buy her more computer games. I explained to her that we only have a finite amount of money. She wanted to know where the money came from. I explained that Daddy’s and Mummy’s workplace paid them a certain amount of money every two weeks for doing their jobs. In passing, I also mentioned that before the money got paid to Daddy and Mummy, the government took some of that money out in tax.

“What?!” exclaimed my daughter in shock. “Why is the government taking your money?”

“Well, they need the money to pay for general services and things,” I explained. “Maybe they need to help people by giving them that money instead.”

“I don’t think that’s very good,” said my daughter disapprovingly. “The government wouldn’t know how best to spend your money. You would have a much better idea of what you need to spend your money on than them.”

“But what about helping people?” I said.

“I don’t know those people,” said my daughter, “and I think they shouldn’t take your money. I think you should be able to get games for me.”

OH MY GOD. I have a LIBERTARIAN CHILD. How did this happen? Has she secretly been reading the libertarians on the blog behind my back?!


  1. Posted October 11, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Oh that’s just precious! I love the way kids make sense of our grown up world.

    During the election when all the Stop the Boats stuff was on TV, my 8 year old saw Abbott promising that he will stop the boats. My son was horrified. He stood up, turned to me and shouted, “What does he bloody mean he will stop the boats? Damned if I’m gonna let a wingnut like him tell me I can’t go bloody fishing!”
    After I picked myself up off floor , I then had to explain what Mr.Abbott meant when he said he was going to stop the boats. Though pleased he could still go fishing, he still wasn’t happy about it.

  2. Posted October 11, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    LE Your child clearly has a confidence in their own opinions and even stronger confidence in his parents. Well done 🙂

    Of course, if your daughter is still going to kinder, her grasp of categories of people — beyond those she has met — may be a little limited 😉

  3. Posted October 11, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    I’d have pointed out that leaglet1 has her name on her books, and mummy has her name written on her stuff, get the dubious yes, and say “now the name on the money is….”
    Render unto the commonwealth and all that.

  4. TerjeP
    Posted October 11, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    LE – said child will need that attitude beaten out of them lest they grow up a social misfit. 😉

  5. Posted October 11, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    I can just see the pro-lib slogan now.

    Libertarianism: so obvious, even 4 year olds can grasp it.

    I can also see the counter-slogan.

    Libertarianism: so obvious, only 4 year olds believe it.

    Posted October 11, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Well, isn’t that just the pure joy of childhood, a prelapsarian time in which a loving parent buys time for kid to adjust to the world, whilst growing up. Sad when you grow up and realise how fortunate you were, to have good family, for the others you find out that missed out on such a blessing.
    Am back to a favourite memory, me with my first bike, scouting ahead for mum on the way up to the shops.
    Memories like this are the final bulwark against defeatism and despair and worth all the prozac in China
    As Lorenzo says, good luck to both of you.

  7. Peter Patton
    Posted October 11, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Permalink


    Be thankful Legaleaglette is still at the “It’s your money” stage. Wait till she cottons on that “the government is taking our money”! 🙂

  8. Patrick
    Posted October 11, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    I love 4yo leaglet. Sadly my kids display no such advanced social consciousness 🙁

    Then again, I have never tried to explain tax to them either – I think that’s a win for them!! 🙂

  9. Posted October 12, 2010 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    Not only is she a libertarian, but she’s channelling Milton Friedman to boot.

    Scarily clever child is scarily clever.

    Just sayin.

  10. Posted October 12, 2010 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    LE, Now the forests will die

    Too adorable.

    I loved Hawke as a kid too. I still remember when he won the election. (I was swimming in a pool with a goat at Hungry Creek) My parents were ecstatic. I still have a letter (his secretary I presume) in response to my letter asking about Uranium mining. (In 1986- I was 10)
    My daughter vehemently hates Labour. (She really doesn’t like the mandatory filter) My boys don’t like Gillard, but I suspect that’s still a “She’s got girl germs” thing. But they aren’t too fussed on Tony Abbott either. Much like their parents, they just have this innate urge to take the mickey out of everyone and everything. Especially politicians.

  11. Posted October 13, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Has your hubby been reading her Atlas Shrugged at bedtime?

  12. Posted October 13, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    [email protected] “Atlas Shrugged” = a Titanic “meh”

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