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The “Nanny State” refers to either a protective, caring government OR a government that interferes in matters that should be private decisions. It depends upon your point of view. So should the government take care of us or mind its business?
Do Now #35 posed “the question of whether the government has a right to decide what's good or bad for us,” in relation to sin taxes – that is taxes levied on sins, such as smoking and gambling.
Now New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed passing a law restricting restaurants, movie theaters and sports arenas from selling sugary sodas in sizes larger than 16 fluid ounces. In the same vein Richmond voters will decide in November whether to levy a soda tax. As KQED’s State of Health blogger writes
So when New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed limiting portion sizes on sugary drinks, I wasn’t surprised when opponents of the idea labeled it a “nanny state” tactic …………….and
The “nanny state” label has gone viral — 470,000 hits on Google when I search “bloomberg nanny state.”
Clearly the “Nanny State” is a loaded term, political shorthand, suggesting overprotection, nosiness, meddling in private lives. It becomes a debate about liberties.