“Consumer protection” vs. thinking for yourself

From an article by Linn and Ari Armstrong:

We have nothing against restaurants posting calorie notices, so long as they do it voluntarily in accordance with their customers’ shopping preferences. But mandatory postings violate the rights of property and voluntary association.

Moreover, mandatory calorie postings insult the intelligence of shoppers. Do we really need some bureaucrat to tell us that deep fried sugar is bad for you? Consumers can make wise decisions without the “help” of meddlesome politicians.

Indeed, by encouraging people to depend on politicians and bureaucrats for their health and safety, Nanny State laws ultimately stunt people’s independent thinking. Nothing is more dangerous than that, whether for people’s health or the health of the republic.

Read the whole article, which starts of describing New York’s Cabaret Laws, which restricts dancing in most clubs and bars: Under Nanny State, we don’t feel like dancing.

For more on nanny state restrictions, see Radley Balko‘s  What’s the Matter With Chicago?



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2 responses to ““Consumer protection” vs. thinking for yourself

  1. ben

    in what way does providing the public with more information about a product “stunt people’s independent thinking”?

  2. Anonymous

    I don’t know. The article I quoted in the post does not make such a claim. The article’s authors say that “Nanny State laws ultimately stunt people’s independent thinking.” They don’t say that information about a product stunts independent thinking.

    If you’re not convinced by their argument about “Nanny State laws,” that’s a different debate.

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