Monthly Archives: January 2009

The Race to the Nanny State – Part 1

Here’s a story right out of my own metro area newspaper. I don’t know if this hatred of trans fats has been on the table before in the Twin Cities, but the outlook is that this will be a relatively swift decision.

This is a perfect example of a step in the wrong direction. Let’s imagine for a second that trans fats are┬áin fact as dangerous as some would make them out to be for everyone in these cities. There may be many truthful arguments to this cause. But take a step back, and look at what is happening. The article mentions that certain national restaurant chains have already eliminated trans fats from their menus. These are companies making rational business decisions. Concordantly, all companies that have not eliminated trans fats from their menus are also making a rational business decision, for any number of reasons.

The problem with governments getting involved in the food industries (and pretty much any other industry, e.g. energy, auto, food, and housing industries) is that you are no longer allowing companies to make decisions based on voluntary consumer actions, but instead compelling them to work under unprofitable conditions. Of course the advancers of the nanny state, almost always being liberals, always find some way limit freedom and enterprise in the name of health, safety, or the environment. Also, almost all provisions associated with nanny states are in conflict with the progression of natural selection. So I say, “Let the fatties eat, smokers smoke, bungee jumpers jump, and SUV drivers drive”. In the end, the market will sort out all inefficiencies, and natural selection will remove the weak from society.