In Defense of The Nanny State: Should the Government Always Treat Us Like Grown Ups?

Few questions loom larger on the political horizon right now than defining the proper role of government in regulating individual freedoms. As many have argued with varying degrees of sanity over the past few months, much of the current health care debate boils down to what kind of government America both needs and deserves.

Today I’m over at taking issue with a piece that came out over the weekend in Slate by Jacob Weisberg. Weisberg points to a dismaying trend of “nanny state”-type intrusions on individual liberties sweeping the United States, things like a series of New York City initiatives that aim to ban smoking in public places and to reduce the consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks. In response, he mounts a spirited (bipartisan) attack on such heavy-handed public policies, arguing that our country is on a slippery slope toward “paternalistic over-reach.”

I disagree.

Have a look

Image: Anatomy of a Smoker9 by drburtoni via flickr under a creative commons license.

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4 Responses to In Defense of The Nanny State: Should the Government Always Treat Us Like Grown Ups?

  1. daryl boylan says:

    Right on all 3 counts — tho’ I expect the practical is the one most likely to sway the average voter.

  2. Patricia says:

    I am intrigued and heading around to read your replies and ideas…Thank you

  3. Patricia says:

    I don’t have a name or password to make a comment on your post, but it is fabulous and right on….

    I have been writing about YES magazine and David Korten’s Agenda for a New Economy and feel bolstered to find someone with the same clarity about what we need to do and the outcomes. Thank you

  4. delialloyd says:

    thanks patricia. glad you enjoyed it and don’t think I’m a *communist moron*…FYI for future reference: you can create an account w/AOL and leave a comment. it only takes a minute-they just want to know that you’re a person and it has no obligation…cheers! D

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