Missing Children: The Pottery Barn Rule Revisited
Publisher: Counter Punch
Date Written: 31/05/2018
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX22626
If one in five American parents couldn't figure out where their kids were, most people would rightly see the phenomenon as a crisis and a national scandal. Grandstanding prosecutors with visions of gubernatorial campaigns dancing in their heads would conduct mass parental perp walks. Legislators would boost their presidential aspirations by co-sponsoring legislation requiring universal implantation of GPS trackers at birth.
In 2002, US Secretary of State Colin Powell allegedly invoked "the Pottery Barn rule" "you break it, you bought it" -- by way of trying to get President George W. Bush to rethink the ill-fated invasion of Iraq.
Pottery Barn actually has no such rule, but when I was a kid a lot of stores sported signs saying exactly that.
Government doesn't have such a rule either, but it should.
A government employee who loses track of 1,475 children placed in his charge needs to to be fired -- at least. An investigation of possible criminal negligence doesnt seem unreasonable to me. Nor does a home visit by the area's Department of Children's Services or equivalent to make sure his or her own kids haven't gone missing.
Even better, we could stop handing over so much power to government on the silly supposition that government jobs magically make the people who hold them smarter, more competent, or more responsible than us regular folks.