Why shouldn't parents be treated as badly as smokers?" asked the writer rhetorically. After all, "children, just like cigarettes or mobile phones, clearly impose a negative externality on people who are near them." Recent events at Columbine High reminded me again of these comments, which appeared in an editorial in the Economist. At first I thought that it was written tongue in cheek by a person who had just suffered through a nine-hour flight with a screaming baby in the next seat. But half way through the article I stopped smiling.
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