If you need a reason to appreciate a more libertarian approach to public policy in the Age of Obama and rampant nanny-statism, look no farther than Reason’s Nick Gillespie. John Stossel moderates a heated debate between Nick and MeMe Roth over the nature of personal choice over hyperbole. It will come as no surprise to see Gillespie get the better of this argument, mainly because his opponent insists on using overblown terms like “epidemic” to describe obesity, a condition that is not contagious. Or is it? Roth says that obesity is “socially contagious” (via The Right Scoop):
Hey, you know what is also “socially contagious?” Teenage pregnancy! Unlike obesity, a girl has to catch that from someone else. Perhaps we can also have government intervene by forcefully segregating boys and girls until they reach the age of 20?
And don’t miss the irony of the “scare quotes” Roth puts around “socially contagious,” perhaps a subconscious admission that she’s using a ridiculous argument. If we took it seriously as a valid reason for government intervention, we’d have Bureaus of Friendships and Relationships installed in every school in America.
Nick has it exactly correct: if you don’t want to pay for someone else’s choices, then get government out of the way of the consequences of those choices. Better yet, quit believing that government can act to prevent negative consequences of choice simply by creating more nannies for the nanny state.