During the Minnesota state government shutdown, a story appeared about the operator of All About Kids day care center in St. Paul, which lost its state reimbursements that allow low-income clients to pay on a sliding scale.
"I know other centers are turning parents away. But I couldn't, and I didn't charge them anything. I would not do that to my parents. They would have been in a worse position," she said.
Roxanne Williams could be described variously as a social services worker, a state contractor or an entrepreneur.
Personally, I'll go with highly evolved soul.
The story told how a number of "child and senior day care providers, job counselors, interpreters and other furloughed contractors kept working with Minnesota's sick, poor and jobless -- without pay."
As a regular volunteer working in child care, I was not surprised by their compassion. But I wondered how people like Williams would be regarded through the prism of libertarian economics.
As MNGOP communications man Craig Westover continually reminds us:
Government cannot do anything for anybody until it first takes the resources from the private sector that produces the wealth that makes compassion possible.
My first inclination was to draw some snide lessons from this. For example, will smaller government really inspire the private market to provide low-cost childcare so low income parents can search for work and hold jobs?
But then I wondered if Craig would show up here and discuss it with me.
If we we're going to fix our state budget, we can't just rely on theoretical abstractions and rigid political positions, so I'm going to see if he's interested in digging into some of the lessons from All About Kids.