Measured Against Reality

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Nanny State Review

I just finished Nanny State: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooders, Priggish Moralists, and other Boneheaded Bureaucrats are Turning America into a Nation of Children by David Harsanyi today. It's a fantastic book, and I'll give it the same praise I give Radley Balko's blog, it's absolutely infuriating.

How can that possibly be a good thing? Because Harsanyi methodically documents exactly how asinine laws that treat grown adults as if they're children have accelerated their attack on our freedoms over the past years. He goes through smoking bans, modern attempts to return to alcohol prohibition (one step at a time), fatty food bans, sex and sex toy bans, and all of those other wonderfully idiotic bans that limit our freedom of choice while saving us from nothing but ourselves.

He documents this insanity while showing how it's utterly unnecessary, a reaction to overblown hysterics (typically of only a few do-gooders), and adds delightful, often hilarious commentary. The book is well-researched: he shows the ways nannies derive their ridiculously inflated "statistics", as well as how these laws are born, and the fact that the public is usually utterly ambivalent about the measures: there's a distinct lack of outcry for reform except in rare cases.

All in all, I highly recommend it. It'll leave you incensed at the paternalistic nannying enveloping us, and with a distinct lack of hope for a better, nanny-free future. But knowing is half the battle, and after reading this book you'll know all there is to know about the modern nanny movement, and why every freedom-loving American should do all they can to stop it.

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