Jonathan Klick sees another danger of soft paternalism:
The more we protect individuals from making decisions (good or bad), the less willing they will be to invest in decisionmaking capacities. A few years ago, I was bemused when I spoke at an orientation session for new law students, finding that a third of the room was filled with their parents. This feeling eventually turned to despair when I discovered this is a fairly ubiquitous phenomenon. By coddling their children (setting up default rules in such a way to protect them from their failure to make a good decision, so to speak), it seems, today’s helicopter parents have actually stunted their children’s development. You may think I am exaggerating the costs of this... but there is at least some evidence of this coddling leading to negative long term consequences. Apparently a number of firms report that entry-level candidates are now bringing their parents to job interviews and letting mom negotiate their benefits for them.
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