The Nanny State

The state is supposed to set a framework in which people can live peacefully together. Recently, governments around the world have been inclined to go beyond this traditional role. Instead of issuing some basic rules in which we can live our lives as we please, they are now trying to prescribe specific ways of life. Can this ever be justified or are government nannies just infantilizing society?


An Ounce of Prevention? A Toolkit for Evaluating Preventive Health Measures
Helen Andrews
26 November 2014 | PM143

Preventive health is a broad umbrella that includes such disparate services as vaccines for schoolchildren, blood pressure screenings, ad campaigns to discourage binge drinking, and special taxes on tobacco products. What all these programs have in common is an intention to spend money now in…

Submission to the National Commission of Audit
Alexander Philipatos, Jennifer Buckingham, Jeremy Sammut, Robert Carling, Simon Cowan, Stephen Kirchner, Trisha Jha
01 April 2014 | T30.08

The federal government’s Commission of Audit (CoA) was established in 2013 to review the performance and role of government. This publication is an edited version of the CIS submission to the CoA listing practical solutions aimed at cutting government expenditure. The government should adopt a…

Emergency Budget Repair Kit
Alexander Philipatos, Jennifer Buckingham, Jeremy Sammut, Robert Carling, Simon Cowan, Trisha Jha
21 November 2013 | T30.05

The new Abbott government should address its self-identified budget emergency by cutting wasteful spending now. Reducing government will also help prepare Australia for its future fiscal challenges. There are some simple steps that can move the budget back to surplus in the short term. The…

TARGET30: Reducing the burden for future generations
David Murray, Maurice Newman, Simon Cowan
01 July 2013 | PF25

TARGET30 is a campaign promoting smaller government and cutting government spending to less than 30% of GDP in the next 10 years. This collection of speeches presented at the campaign’s launch focuses on ensuring that the crucial services Australians need are delivered efficiently and effectively…

After the Welfare State: Politicians Stole Your Future … You Can Get It Back
Tom Palmer
08 April 2013 | OP132

The third title in the Jameson Books-Students for Liberty Series, After the Welfare State: Politicians Stole Your Future … You Can Get It Back is a collection of essays by eminent political economists from around the world. Young people today are being robbed. Of their…

Media & Commentary

Charities regulator reprieve
Helen Andrews
09 April 2015 | The Mandarin

Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has now confirmed what most in the not-for-profit sector have long suspected: the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission is here to stay. Social Services Minister Scott…

Can we trust the food nannies?
Helen Andrews
13 February 2015

Oops. The dietary guidelines endorsed by the US and UK governments for the past three decades, which demonise fat as the number one nutritional villain, turn out to have been based…

Stop the state 'playing Dad'
Jeremy Sammut
23 January 2015

Gary Johns has argued that compulsory contraception is needed to stop women having children and relying on the state to support their families. A better way to address this form of…

It's just not cricket
23 January 2015

Is there no escaping the nanny state telling me how to live my life! The Australian summer holidays is a time to relax, overindulge, forget about the problems of the world…

18C makes us all tongue-tied
Jeremy Sammut
20 January 2015 | The Australian

The Charlie Hebdo massacre has renewed calls for the federal parliament to amend Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA). According to Race Discrimination Commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane, this is…