The nanny state describes the tendency of liberal politicians to enact policies that make economic and health decisions for citizens. It is a Democrat method of solving society's problems by putting the government in control of the people. Essentially, the government becomes the decision maker as the person who knows what is in your best interest. It removes responsibility from individuals and parents and promotes irresponsibility and dependence.
Not every nanny state style policy seems like a bad idea, and arguments can be made for the state intervening to stop for instance the insane from taking their own lives. All but the most radical of Libertarians recognize that the state has some responsibility to prevent children for marrying too young or to prevent the use of hard drugs. The great difficulty that a conservative world view helps us to deal with is keeping the nanny state impulse from getting out of control. As more and more nanny state policies are enacted it becomes legitimately in the states best interest and part of the states purview to enact more and more legislation that infringes on our liberties. Reducing the costs of the National Health Service has lead to British interference with diets and needle exchange programs.
- Hillary Clinton once quipped, "It takes a village [aka government] to raise a kid." In a normal society, however, it takes only a mother and a father.
- Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's May 2012 proposal to restrict the sale of soft drinks in venues, restaurants and sidewalk carts to 16 ounces.
- Compulsory public schooling.
- Helmet laws.
- Universal healthcare for 300 million so that 45 million uninsured citizens will have medical coverage (see ObamaCare)
- In the United Kingdom and European Union, the government pays for advertisements about healthy eating, including encouragements to drink more milk.
- In 2011, the Welsh government mandated fire sprinklers in all new houses, regardless of the wishes of the builders or owners.
- Mandatory vaccination of children.
Quotes about the Nanny State
- "Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state wants to live at the expense of everyone."—Frederic Bastiat
- "A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy…"—Alexander Fraser Tytler, Scottish lawyer and writer, 1770
- "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." – C. S. Lewis
- Michael Grynbaum, New York Plans to Ban Sale of Big Sizes of Sugary Drinks, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/31/nyregion/bloomberg-plans-a-ban-on-large-sugared-drinks.html?_r=1, Accessed 27 March 2014, New York Times, May 31, 2012, "The measures have led to occasional derision of the mayor as Nanny Bloomberg, by those who view the restrictions as infringements on personal freedom."