CHILDREN: Blackmail in the Home

The appalling thought that a generation of cowed U.S. parents may be rearing a generation of coldly opportunistic super-brats was voiced this week by the governor of New York.

After heated debate, the New York legislature had passed and sent to the governor a bill making parents financially responsible, to a limit of $250, for willful or malicious property damage inflicted by their marauding offspring.

Legislative proponents of the bill suggested that much juvenile delinquency is rooted in parental irresponsibility. "We have reached the point," trumpeted Republican Walter J. Mahoney, senate majority leader from Buffalo, "where too many children are running the...

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