Tag: The Coddling of the American Mind

Bubble-Wrapped Americans: How the US Became Obsessed with Physical and Emotional Safety


Bubble-Wrapped Americans: How the U.S. Became Obsessed with Physical and Emotional Safety“In America we say if anyone gets hurt, we will ban it for everyone everywhere for all time. And before we know it, everything is banned.” — Professor Jonathan Haidt

It’s a common refrain: We have bubble-wrapped the world. Americans in particular are obsessed with “safety.” The simplest way to get any law passed in America, be it a zoning law or a sweeping reform of the intelligence community, is to invoke a simple sentence: “A kid might get hurt.”

Almost no one is opposed to reasonable efforts at making the world a safer place. But the operating word here is “reasonable.” Banning lawn darts, for example, rather than just telling people that they can be dangerous when used by unsupervised children, is a perfect example of a craving for safety gone too far.

Liz Wolfe, managing editor for The Federalist and part-time editor for Reason, has an in-depth discussion with Bridget about why she thought college was a huge waste of money and wanted to drop out, how she managed to get her degree in two years, and the fact that most people have no understanding of the debt they are taking on when they take out student loans. They bond over being self-starters and hustlers and how it’s a skill that helps them find ways around the “gatekeepers” in life, how being from big families teaches you that life isn’t fair at an early age, and discuss why sometimes having low expectations about an experience is the best way to approach it. They coin the phrase “weaponized fragility,” lament over how being patriotic has somehow become a bad thing, and note that you’ll never change someone’s mind by calling them names. Liz offers fascinating insight into being raised in a home where her parents fostered children, and the hidden costs of that experience, and Bridget shares the name of the self-help book she wants to write, Laziness Motivates Me.