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?

Publications

Submission to the Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry into Personal Choice and Community Impacts 2015
11 August 2015

The CIS submission into the Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry proposed two tightly targeted areas be changed: 1. That the Department of Health withdraw all financial support for the Health Star Rating system, including explanatory websites, public awareness campaigns, and studies of its effectiveness. 2. That the government…

Submission to the Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry into Personal Choice and Community Impacts 2015
Helen Andrews, Barry Maley
11 August 2015

The CIS submission into the Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry proposed two tightly targeted areas be changed: 1. That the Department of Health withdraw all financial support for the Health Star Rating system, including explanatory websites, public awareness campaigns, and studies of its effectiveness. 2. That the government…

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…

Media & Commentary

Patriotism: chop chop
Anastasia Glushko
22 January 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

Australia Day looms, and once again the nation is embroiled in a heated debate about Meat and Livestock Australia’s lamb ads.  The interesting thing about this year’s fuss is not…

Why is government regulating sport codes?
Trisha Jha
15 January 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

After working at CIS for over two years, you’d think I would have learned by now not to be perplexed by the sheer number of pies in which governments of…

Another anti-obesity measure flops
Helen Andrews
15 January 2016 | Ideas@TheCentre

The nice thing about the free market is that it allows lots of different people to try lots of different solutions to the same problem. Take Walmart in the United…

The Nannies: 2015 nanny state awards
18 December 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

The Centre for Independent Studies announces its second year of nanny state awards, The Nannies. Highlighting the year’s worst examples of imposing regulations or promoting campaigns designed to prevent people…

Wowser redux
Helen Andrews
30 October 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

Ever read a news article that seems to be from an alternate universe? The Guardian‘s coverage of a recently FOI-ed government report on alcohol advertising felt like that. For good…