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Why does Andrew Cuomo Hate Thanksgiving?

With the latest group of Covid-19 restrictions, I thought we had seen the brunt of the attacks on our personal liberty. These actions also allow for some concerning precedents that might be abused, even more than they are now, by future elected officials.

I had expected that we weren’t done with the heavy-handed restrictions. (I had hoped, though…) But what I did not expect was for the governor of New York to launch a war on Thanksgiving.

Governor Cuomo has ordered that gatherings be under 10 people in private residences. (What about families with more than 10 people?)

More importantly, since when can the government dictate how you can spend your holiday? When people can come to your house? How many people can be in your home?

(And it’s not just New York—in my own state the government is prohibiting people from different households from gathering together! And no, we’re not in California…)

The whole of 2020 has proved what we have always known—that the government will continue to expand as it takes away our rights. It’s not in the government’s nature to retract or give back powers once they are first taken away.

(Hint… there will be a future Tuttle Twins book about this topic!)

Along with this new mandate, Cuomo has also imposed a 10pm curfew for all public establishments that serve alcohol. He even threatened a second shutdown:

“If these measures aren’t sufficient to reduce the spread—we’ll turn the valve more and part of that would be reducing the number of people indoor dining. If that doesn’t work, if these numbers keep going crazy… you will go back to a closedown.”

That’s right: as ineffective and damaging as the lockdowns were, Governor Cuomo wants to shutdown the New York economy—again.

It’s one thing to make a bad decision, it is another thing to threaten to make that bad decision again. That’s the definition of insanity, right?

Andrew Cuomo has no place telling you how to spend your holidays. It is none of his business. My governor doesn’t have that authority, either.

And I get that Covid-19 is a serious issue for many. But this misunderstanding about the proper role of government is part of the reason why I wrote The Tuttle Twins Learn about the Law. Simply put, the government should not infringe on fundamental liberties such as the freedom of association.

Maybe Cuomo doesn’t hate Thanksgiving, but he certainly is no fan of freedom and property rights… and that’s part of what the holiday celebration is all about. (More about that in an email we’ll send Thanksgiving morning!)

However, we can educate our kids to know when a Governor like Cuomo is overstepping his power.

Save a holiday by picking up a Tuttle Twins book today!

—Connor

Small Businesses Were the Real Election Loser

Regardless of who you wanted to win last week, I’ll tell you who the real winner was. Big government!

The nature of government is that it continues to grow, no matter who is in charge. That’s the sad reality our books are designed to combat.

In the last several months, for example, the government has made policies with little to no regard for small businesses. Ever-changing policies surrounding shutdowns and mask mandates have put family-owned businesses at a disadvantage. And last week, voters in several states and localities chose to make it worse.

Florida passed a $15 minimum wage referendum, and Portland, the largest city in Maine, passed a $15 minimum wage with mandatory time-and-a-half pay during civil emergencies. (Like, ya know… a pandemic.) This would work out to be a whopping $18 an hour with the current $12 minimum wage.

As if the pandemic wasn’t hard enough on small business owners.

The reality is that the true minimum wage is $0; if businesses can’t afford to pay their employees these legal minimums, they will simply have to fire or not hire employees—or shut down entirely. Because of the government’s arbitrary interference into the economy.

We’ve seen several businesses that are pillars of the community shut down due to bad policies surrounding Covid-19, and sadly, it looks like these minimum wage hikes will be the nail in the coffin for many that have been hanging by a thread.

In a recent FEE article, they quoted the manager of Portland House of Pizza, a 30 year staple in the community:

It’s going to hurt everyone. It’s not like we have money trees out in the back parking lot. You have to make money to pay money, some places will go out of business.

You have to make money to pay money.” That is an obvious principle to people like you and me, but big government and central planners somehow think small business owners have an endless amount of revenue that they are just… refusing to pay people?

But that’s not the case. Small business owners are going to be forced to find the money to pay their employees from somewhere. There is no money tree for business owners to pull from—they will be forced to cut down on employee hours, lay off employees, and raise prices.

In fact, that is exactly the decision one Portland business owner said he was facing:

In the last 7 months business has dropped from 30 to 50 percent and food costs have skyrocketed. This added increase on a business already depressed due to the pandemic is tough. We may have to either cut employee hours or cut back on business hours.

I don’t know about you, but to me that does not sound like the desired outcome of the increased minimum wage.

But this is what happens when the government tries to manipulate the market—the unintended consequences far outweigh the benefit of the increased hourly pay.

This is such an important principle. I wrote not one, but two books about it. In The Tuttle Twins and the Food Truck Fiasco, and The Tuttle Twins and the Messed Up Market, the twins learn about how outside interference in the free market often causes more problems than it helps.

These lessons are critical to understand, but typically not taught in schools. Voters across the country clearly don’t understand basic economics, and continue to vote for big government which hurts small businesses. With the Tuttle Twins, though, your kids can understand more than most adults do.

As for me, I just want my government to be limited and my markets to be free.

Is that too much to ask for?

 — Connor

Maybe We All Need an Education Vacation

After the craziness of this week, we all need a vacation.

This past week, with everything going on in the world, I was reminded of this by a tweet that has been making the rounds.

The tweet read:

I have to agree with the author—compulsory education is NOT the best environment for learning, and higher education is not much better. In our ever-adapting world, our kids have to learn how to be life-long learners—not just be spoon-fed information.

Education works best when we have the freedom to discover our interests and develop our abilities. Like anything else, people operate best when they are free. (Ahem… even kids!)

In a lot of ways, the coronavirus has revealed what we already knew about our education system—it doesn’t work for everyone. With a huge movement of people switching to homeschooling in the past several months, it is becoming apparent that the one-size-fits-all approach is outdated, and it doesn’t fit with today’s world.

Self-education is the direction our world is moving in this digital age. How often do we learn something by reading a book, watching a video on Youtube, or Googling the answer to any question we have? We are losing the need for memorizing facts as we carry access to unlimited information at the tips of our fingers.
Institutions of higher education consistently fail to teach students valuable skills like critical thinking, self-motivation, and instilling a love for life-long learning. (It doesn’t help that “woke” campuses are petri dishes for democratic socialism, either.)

It was this frustration with my own education that led to me writing the Tuttle Twins series. (Side note: I also wrote Passion-Driven Education, a book for parents to learn about a better way to teach their kids, leveraging their interests to inspire authentic learning… check it out here.)

In The Tuttle Twins and the Education Vacation, the Tuttle family learns from long-time educator and his book John Gatto, The Underground History of Education. They learn about real education and take their learning in their own hands.

And that’s a message many more people need to hear. So many families have had their educational status quo disrupted, but may not yet understand the opportunities this presents.

So what can you do? Share your story. Help other parents learn from your experience. Be open about struggles as well as the amazing benefits about whatever alternative approach you pursue.

More families could use a “vacation” from the schooling status quo—so find a family or two in your network who would benefit from anything you might have to share.

And maybe suggest they pick up their own set of Tuttle Twins books! 🙂

— Connor

The Day We’ve Been Waiting For (Or… Dreading?)

Happy Election Day!

With all the chaos of the next couple of days, it is important that we remember how our system of government works.

Recently, I was reminded that many in the university system and the mainstream media don’t seem to know.

That must come as a shock to you all, I know…

I don’t think anyone is surprised to hear me say our colleges are becoming less about giving young adults an education and more about promoting a progressive agenda.

For example, I recently came across an ad for the New York Times Student Spotlight. I know I should know better than to open the New York Times by now, but I’m always interested to hear from bright young minds.

Every week the New York Times publishes a student Op-Ed to spotlight collegiate thinkers. Which is great, but with the paper’s bias, most of the time these articles just reiterate the opinions already published in the Times.

In a recent piece regarding the upcoming election, two students partnered together to ask the question “Is the Electoral College a Problem?” A fine question, and one that is worth discussing. Their argument, however, was concerning.

The students cited an “expert” on the subject, Jesse Wegman, a member of the New York Times Editorial board. I say “expert” in quotations, because I question anyone’s expertise that doesn’t know what form of government America has. Alas, Wegman says:

American democracy isn’t just quirky — it’s also unfair. Five times in our history, presidential candidates who have won more votes than their opponent have still lost the election. Why? Our 230-year-old jerry-built system for picking the president, known as the Electoral College.

The biggest problem with that statement? America never has been a democracy. Yes, sometimes the majority of citizens vote against the winning presidential candidate, because America is not ruled by a simple majority.

Tyranny by the majority is still tyranny. Those complaining that the electoral college system is undemocratic may need to look back at why it was first established: to prevent larger states from dominating the electoral process—to prevent tyranny by the majority. 

The danger of collectivism is real, and the instability of democracies have littered the history books. The founders knew this, which is why they warned of the dangers of democracy repeatedly.

The intention of the American Experiment was never to allow for a rule by majority, but instead to have a limited government with a federalist system that provided a check on power. For a long time, students have been misled to the point that they are arguing for mob rule!

Our government has the responsibility to protect life, liberty, and property—not to bend to the will of the collective.

This is one of the reasons I wrote the Tuttle Twins and the Road to Surfdom. Modeled after The Road to Serfdom by famed economist Frederick Hayek, our version introduces important questions to kids like “Should the collective control us?”

Sadly, some “experts” have failed to ask themselves this question—and it shows.

As millions of people cast their vote for which leaders will now rule over us, it is important, at a minimum, that we know how our system functions and what it is.

It’s a republic—if we can keep it.

— Connor

The Scariest “Monster” This Halloween is Big Government

I pride myself on not really being scared of much—snakes, heights, and zombies really don’t get to me… but the one “monster” that always manages to startle me is big government.

Unlike snakes, heights, and zombies, big government creeps into every aspect of your life under the guise of “helping you.” Call me old fashioned, but I like my monsters big and scary—not hiding behind so-called “good intentions.”

I was recently spooked when a Reason Magazine article called out an ordinance passed by the City of Berkeley to ban “junk food” from grocery store checkout aisles.

*Shivers*

Nothing gives me the heebie-jeebies like the government mandating how a business markets to try to control OUR diets.

The article reads:

Last month, Berkeley, California, became the first city in the nation to ban so-called “junk food” from grocery checkout aisles. Food with more than 5 grams added sugar or 200 mg sodium will be banished from the checkout aisle. The ordinance takes effect next year, with enforcement set to phase in starting in 2022.

“Grocery stores larger than 2,500 square feet will no longer be allowed to sell unhealthy food and beverages at the checkout line, and instead will be encouraged to offer more nutritious food and drink,” the San Jose Mercury News reported. “Gone will be chips, candy bars, sodas and other sweetened beverages.”

Because you’ll only gain weight from buying candy from large stores? The article continues:

The ordinance was supported with the help of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit that’s long advocated for government intervention to restrict or alter people’s food choices.

“The Center for Science in the Public Interest has created a suggested list of products that meet the criteria of the ordinance,” the ordinance notes. Sure enough, CSPI says traditional checkout items—such as bubble gum, candy bars, Slim Jims—will yield to “fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, dairy, whole grains, and chewing gum and mints with no added sugars.” …

“Fresh, canned, or otherwise hermetically sealed dried fruits, vegetables, or legumes with no more than 5 grams added sugars,” the ordinance recommends.

The impetus for the ban appears to be a belief on the part of Berkeley lawmakers that parents are powerless over their 5-year-olds.

“Cheap, ready-to-eat foods high in salt, saturated fat, and added sugars dominate checkout aisles, where shoppers are more likely to make impulse purchases and where parents struggle with their children over demands to buy treats at the end of a shopping trip,” the ordinance itself declares.

“We’re not saying you can’t have these goods,” says Berkeley Councilmember Kate Harrison. “We’re just saying they’re not going to be right at the eye level of your children when they walk into the store and you’re waiting in that long line at check out.”

Yes, you read that correctly, Berkeley will be mandating that grocery stores replace the candy bars and gum at the checkout aisle with… fruit?

I think one of the most insulting parts of this mandate is the fine folks in the Berkeley City government are doing this to prevent kids from pressuring their parents to buy them junk food.

As if we are so defenseless against our toddlers that we can’t say no, and as if we don’t know our kids diets better than our local government.

*eye-roll*

Grocery stores put candy on the checkout aisle because it is an impulse buy—something adults purchase as a pick-me-up or to reward their kids with for behaving themselves throughout the shopping trip. (And that is their decision, not Berkeley’s.)

Fruit is not an impulse buy, and will not sell as well in the checkout aisle. Government officials don’t understand this, and will put the grocery stores and candy bar companies at a disadvantage by switching around the checkout aisle.

The government has no place in the voluntary transaction between businesses and their consumers. That is why I wrote The Tuttle Twins and the Food Truck Fiasco—to help kids understand why it is so damaging when the government interferes in the market.

We have seen time and again the “good intentions” of central planners fail miserably. People simply can’t—and shouldn’t—plan for others’ lives and try to mold their behavior through the force of government. Persuasion? Sure. But coercive mandates don’t lead to elevated human conduct.

Halloween is right around the corner, but the “monster” of big government will sadly stick around for a long time to come. Help me fight this monster by helping more kids understand sound economic principles with the Tuttle Twins!

—Connor

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