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Attack of the Nanny-State

One of the insidious consequences of a paternalistic state is that it renders the concept of fraud virtually meaningless. Our political leaders endorse the idea that government ought to decide what is best for us. It is widely accepted that government’s job is to protect the individual, not from being harmed by others, but from

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The Shackles of Paternalism

Today, the “nanny-state” is omnipresent. Its latest pernicious intrusion pertains to pain-relief medication. Doctors are being told to restrict their prescriptions of opioids, the drugs (such as Percocet and Vicodin) used to reduce extreme pain. Why? Because the government is concerned about patients who overuse the drugs, leading to addiction and sometimes death. The idea

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“Women’s Viagra”–
Why Should Government Decide?

  In reaction to the FDA’s recent decision to approve flibanserin—the so-called “women’s Viagra”—two camps have emerged. One argues that the drug’s benefits clearly warranted approval by the agency; the other argues that the benefits are dubious and did not warrant approval. But no voices are addressing the more fundamental question: why should the government

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If the Government Feeds You, It Will Tell You What You May and May Not Eat

There are many areas in which our paternalistic government has decided it must protect you against yourself. Among the latest is “predatory lending.” That accusatory adjective does not refer to fraudulent loans. The borrowers are not being lied to and they are not being coerced; they knowingly accept the lender’s terms. Rather, as a N.Y. Times

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The Threat of the Paternalistic State

[This was published in the Tampa Tribune and the Los Angeles Daily News, July 23, 2002] A precondition of freedom is the recognition of the individual’s capacity to make decisions for himself. If man were viewed as congenitally incapable of making rational choices, there would be no basis for the very concept of rights. Yet that

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