Nanny State by David Harsanyi Summary
When did we lose our right to be lazy, unhealthy, and politically incorrect? Move over Big Brother! An insidious new group has inserted itself into American politics. They are the nannies—not the stroller-pushing set but an invasive band of do-gooders who are subtly and steadily stripping us of our liberties, robbing us of the inalienable right to make our own decisions, and turning America into a nation of children. As you read this, countless busybodies across the nation are rolling up their sleeves to do the work of straightening out your life. Certain Massachusetts towns have banned school-yard tag. San Francisco has passed laws regulating the amount of water you should use in dog bowls. The mayor of New York City has french fries and doughnuts in his sights. In some parts of California, smoking is prohibited . . . outside. The government, under pressure from the nanny minority, is twisting the public’s arm into obedience. Playground police, food fascists, anti-porn crusaders —whether they're legislating morality or wellbeing—nannies are popping up all over America. In the name of health, safety, decency, and—shudder—good intentions, these ever-vigilant politicians and social activists are dictating what we eat, where we smoke, what we watch and read, and whom we marry. Why do bureaucrats think they know what's better for us than we do? And are they selectively legislating in the name of political expediency? For instance, why do we ban mini-motorbikes, responsible for five deaths each year, and not skiing, which accounts for fifty deaths each year? Why is medical marijuana, a substance yet to claim a single life, banned and not aspirin, which accounts for about 7,600 deaths? Exhaustively researched, sharply observed, and refreshingly lucid, Nanny Sate looks at the myriad ways we are turning the United States into a soulless and staid nation—eroding not only our personal freedoms but our national character.