Most of you have heard the term “nanny state.” Wikipedia defines “nanny state” as a term that refers to state protectionism, economic interventionism, or regulatory policies (of economic, social or other nature), and the perception that these policies are becoming institutionalized as common practice. Its usage varies by political context, but in general it is used in reference to policies where the state is characterized as being excessive in its desire to protect (as a nanny would protect a child), govern or control particular aspects of society. The term can refer to public health interventions and consumer protectionism that removes or controls otherwise free choices, as well as national economic and social policies (regulation and intervention) that affect large and state-favored businesses. Politically conservative groups (those that support free market principles and capitalism) object to excessive state action to protect people from the consequences of their actions by restricting citizen options and with good reason – it’s unconstitutional and goes against the essence of the Founders’ spirit.
The story below taken from WLOX, an ABC affiliate in Biloxi, is a perfect example of how we as a society have dumbed down our individual freedoms and reliance on the Constitution and are now allowing our state and federal government to act as a nanny who dictates what we eat, where we go, what products we use, what cars we buy, which doctor we see, and on and on. As you read the story, keep in mind the explanation above and see if you can see the nanny’s hand at work. I have italicized and underlined a few interesting parts of the story for your ease of understanding:
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) – If your list of must-have drinks include soda, it could cost you close to 50 cents more under a proposed soda tax bill. The tax would also apply to pre-sweetened drinks like certain juices, teas, and energy drinks.
As the bill is written now, only wholesalers of sodas and sugary drinks would be taxed. But, the bill’s creator, Representative John Mayo, of Clarksdale, Mississippi, says he’s aware that most or all of the cost could be handed down to consumers. The idea of the tax is stirring up mixed reactions among South Mississippians.
.Representative John Mayo, of Clarksdale, the man behind the bill, says the Stennis Institute is currently conducting a study on the tax and estimates it could raise anywhere from $110 and $147 Million.
Mayo says the push behind the bill is two-fold. The representative says he hopes to encourage Mississippians to make smarter, healthier choices and to pay for programs teaching people how to make healthier food choices and live healthier lives.
The representative would like to see the money go to the Department of Health, Department of Education and the Mississippi Development Authority. Mayo says the hope is to get Mississippi thinking more in terms of preventative care as opposed to being in reactionary mode.
“I hope it passes this year. It’s focusing attention on what are healthy choices and what are not; it’s a start.” He goes on to say, “If you choose to be fat by making unhealthy choices, why should those of us who choose to be healthy pay for your obesity.”
Read more by councilman Frank Corder