Reply to post: Re: Nanny State

Britain ignores booze guidelines – heads for the pub


Re: Nanny State


I am against the 'Nanny State'. Where I live (NSW, Australia) they have gone so far as to restrict bottle shop ('off license') open hours. That's ridiculous.

BUT, we have to ask what the reason for even having a state - and a government - is.

I would argue that, in at its heart, the core benefit of a 'state' is to accomplish works for the good of the collective citizenry that would be difficult or impossible for individuals or even groups to accomplish otherwise.

If you were to counter that they have clearly gone astray then I would be the first to agree with you but that core principal still does exist, even if it has been warped.

Socialised health care - despite its problems and bureaucratic inefficiencies - is an excellent expression of this as it is, in general, good for society for people to be healthy. Healthy people can work, pay taxes (to fund other public goals) and look after their children. Healthy people are also, all other things being equal, happier.

While some, including staunch libertarians, may argue that public healthcare is an intrusion upon the liberty of the individual, most people who have the benefit of such a system agree that it is a good thing for society.

My point is that promoting good health in society is of benefit to the society as a whole. And, that being the case, campaigns to raise awareness about health issues in the public are not necessarily outside of that goal.

There has to be balance, of course, as having a HAPPY population is also good for everyone and not all measures that might be undertaken to promote good health will have a positive effect on mood and overall satisfaction.

The goal, then, has to be to provide sensible, sound advice based on solid evidence that, when followed, will yield an increased measure of both health and happiness in the population.

On that count, it seems they failed.

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