Nanny State

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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."[1] In a normal society, however, it takes only a mother and a father.
  • Michelle Obama once compared the American people to children who need the government to take care of them – she said the Obama Administration was like "the responsible parent, the one who told you to eat your carrots and go to bed on time," and she criticized the Trump Administration for not acting like a nanny.[2]
  • Having government, rather than parents, watch the nutrition of children.[5]
  • Helmet laws.
  • In the United Kingdom and European Union, the government pays for advertisements about healthy eating, including encouragements to drink more milk.[6][7] In 2020, the UK government moved to restrict promotions of "unhealthy" foods.[8]
  • In 2011, the Welsh government mandated fire sprinklers in all new houses, regardless of the wishes of the builders or owners.[9]
  • In Norway, the media saw it as unusual and "unorthodox" when a health minister stated she supported allowing citizens to have the freedom to eat, drink, and smoke as much as they wanted to, rather than being legally required to only do a certain amount.[11] States and cities in the U.S. have attempted to regulate how much soda one can drink, and the UK worked to ban foods with a certain amount of sugar.[12] Additionally, liberals want to restrict access to red meat[13] and some want to eventually make vegetarianism mandatory.[14]
  • In Connecticut in 2019, the legislature found it necessary to pass a law to allow schoolchildren to self-apply sunscreen before going outside for recess.[15]
  • Socialist and totalitarian "morality guidelines" such as those pushed by China.[16]

United Kingdom's nannystate approach to the coronavirus pandemic

See also: United Kingdom's nannystate approach to the coronavirus pandemic

In July of 2021, Der Spiegel indicated that Finland was the best at handling the coronavirus pandemic based on an index based on excess mortality, restrictions on people's lives and liberty, GDP performance and vaccination coverage.[17] See: An observation about the countries that handled the coronavirus pandemic well so far. And let's look at Finland.

While Finland did a decent job of handling the coronavirus, the coronavirus pandemic turned the British into bigger a bigger nanny state than it was before the pandemic.

City Journal is one of the world's premier urban-policy magazines, “the Bible of the new urbanism,” as London’s Daily Telegraph puts it.[18]

Electron microscope scan of a coronavirus, so-called due to the crown-like filaments on the surface.

In Autumn of 2021, Lionel Shriver published the article The Most Frightened Nation with the byline Why the United Kingdom will never be the same which stated:

What was once the land of “keep calm and carry on” could now be the “most frightened nation in the world.” So says Laura Dodsworth, author of A State of Fear: How the UK Government Weaponised Fear During the Covid-19 Pandemic. Data seem to bear her impression out. According to an Ipsos MORI poll conducted in July, an impressive 27 percent of Britons want to impose a government-mandated nationwide curfew of 10 PM—not then in force—“until the pandemic was under control worldwide,” which might be years from now. A not-inconsiderable 19 percent would impose such a curfew “permanently, regardless of the risk from Covid-19.” Presumably, these are people who don’t get out much. While 64 percent want Britain’s mask mandate in shops and on public transport to remain a legal requirement for the duration of the global pandemic, an astounding 51 percent want to be masked by law, forever.

There’s more: some 35 percent want to confine any Briton who returns from a foreign country, vaccinated or not, to a ten-day home quarantine—permanently, Covid or no Covid. A full 46 percent would require a vaccine passport in order to travel abroad—permanently, Covid or no Covid. So young people today would still be flashing that QR code on whatever passes for smartphones in 2095, though they might have trouble displaying the device to a flight attendant while bracing on their walkers. Likewise, the 36 percent who want to be required to check in at pubs and restaurants with a National Health Service contact-tracing app forever. A goodly 34 percent want social distancing in “theatres, pubs and sports grounds,” regardless of any risk of Covid, forever. A truly astonishing 26 percent of Britons would summarily close all casinos and nightclubs forever. Are these just a bunch of fogies who don’t go clubbing anyway? No. In the 16-to-24 age bracket, the proportion of Brits who want to convert Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in London’s Soho into a community lending library, even after Covid is a distant memory, soars to a staggering 40 percent.

Far from yearning for their historic liberties as “free-born Englishmen,” eight out of ten of the British, according to a Southbank/Kingston University survey, were “anxious” about lifting any of their benevolent government’s copious pandemic restrictions...

But the most enduring damage to the home of Magna Carta may be political. The transformation of the United Kingdom is permanent. Its citizens can never again characterize lockdowns and other previously unthinkable government edicts, such as “you’re forbidden to leave the country,” as unprecedented. The state has established precedents galore. The public is already being softened up for the return of repressive measures in some form this autumn, even if only to control a surge of flu.

It’s official: British civil liberties are provisional. They can be rescinded at a moment’s notice on the government’s whim. They are privileges, not rights. The anything-but-inalienable “rights” to free expression, to protest, to assembly, to association, to worship, to travel, to work: all require permission slips.[19]

Despite the UK taking a more nannystate approach to coronavirus pandemic than Finland, the UK has a higher mortality rate than Finland due to the coronavirus pandemic

As of January 11, 2022, in the UK, deaths per 100,000 people was 316.30 deaths per 100,000 people.[20] As of January 11, 2022, in Finland, which has given much more liberty to its citizens, deaths per 100,000 people was 149.13 deaths per 100,000 people.[21]

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

See also

External links


  2. Multiple references:
  3. Michael Grynbaum, New York Plans to Ban Sale of Big Sizes of Sugary Drinks,, 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."
  4. Newman, Alex (November 24, 2019). Democrats Propose Keeping Kids at School Until 6 P.M. The New American. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  5. Huston, Warner Todd (May 12, 2017). Ex-FLOTUS Michelle Obama: Trump Wants to Feed ‘Crap’ to Your Kids. Breitbart News. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  8. Tennant, Michael (December 28, 2020). British Government Announces Ban on Certain Promotions of “Unhealthy” Foods. The New American. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  10. Terrell, Rebecca (May 7, 2019). Forced Vaccinations: Is It Time for Big Brother to Become Your Doctor? The New American. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  11. Duke, Selwyn (May 8, 2019). Tolerant Big Brother: Let People Drink, Smoke, and Eat Red Meat, Says Health Minister. The New American. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  12. Friedman, Victoria (August 16, 2019). Nanny State: ‘Orwellian’ War on Sugar Could Spell the End of Traditional British Sweets. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  13. Multiple references:
  14. Felten, Eric (October 31, 2019). The road to mandatory vegetarianism. Washington Examiner. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  15. Bill advances, allows students to self-apply sunscreen. Associated Press. June 4, 2019. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  16. Multiple references:
  17. Der Spiegel: Finland best at handling pandemic, website, July 7, 2021
  19. The Most Frightened Nation by Lionel Shriver, Autumn of 2021
  20. Mortality Analyses by John Hopkins University University of Medicine
  21. Mortality Analyses by John Hopkins University University of Medicine