from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A policy or practice of treating or governing people in a fatherly manner, especially by providing for their needs without giving them rights or responsibilities.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. the treatment of people in a fatherly manner, especially by caring for them but sometimes being stern with them
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The theory or practice of paternal government. See Paternal government, under paternal.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Paternal care or government; specifically, excessive governmental regulation of the private affairs and business methods and interests of the people; undue solicitude on the part of the central government for the protection of the people and their interests, and interference therewith.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the attitude (of a person or a government) that subordinates should be controlled in a fatherly way for their own good
I would like to know what "paternalism" is supposed to mean as it applies to the state.
The term paternalism has its roots in the notion of paternal administration ” government as by a father to administer in the way a beneficent father raises his children.
This combination of selfishness and paternalism is both shocking and repugnant.
If the objective of this type of paternalism is to protect people from rash judgments, then people could, in their more "rational" moments, buy protection from private sources against making poor choices.
Your suggestion that IRAs and 401k's are a form of paternalism is rooted in the assumption that the money came from the government, and that it is gifting those account-holders thru tax breaks.
To the degree that 401K's produce better 'returns' than SSI then the degree of paternalism is all the higher since everyone else is taxed just that much more to compensate for the lost revenue.
In my previous posts I've explained why I believe paternalism is sometimes acceptable even though market solutions are usually perferable.
Boonton, what you call paternalism is enforced by coercion whether the first claim on a worker's paycheck is paid to himself or somebody else.
The counterargument to paternalism is that the cost is an anticommons — lots of holdups.
Desai: This ties in to paternalism: is the author a fool to be protected?