counter create hit Nanny State: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooders, Priggish Moralists, and Other Boneheaded Bureaucrats Are Turning America into a Nation of Children - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Nanny State: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooders, Priggish Moralists, and Other Boneheaded Bureaucrats Are Turning America into a Nation of Children

Availability: Ready to download

When did we lose our right to be lazy, unhealthy, and politically incorrect? Move over Big Brother! An insidious new group has inserted itself into American politics. They are the nannies--not the stroller-pushing set but an invasive band of do-gooders who are subtly and steadily stripping us of our liberties, robbing us of the inalienable right to make our own decisions, a When did we lose our right to be lazy, unhealthy, and politically incorrect? Move over Big Brother! An insidious new group has inserted itself into American politics. They are the nannies--not the stroller-pushing set but an invasive band of do-gooders who are subtly and steadily stripping us of our liberties, robbing us of the inalienable right to make our own decisions, and turning America into a nation of children. As you read this, countless busybodies across the nation are rolling up their sleeves to do the work of straightening out your life. Certain Massachusetts towns have banned schoolyard tag. San Francisco has passed laws regulating the amount of water you should use in dog bowls. The mayor of New York City has french fries and doughnuts in his sights. In some parts of California, smoking is prohibited...outside. The government, under pressure from the nanny minority, is twisting the public's arm into obedience. Playground police, food fascists, antiporn crusaders--whether they're legislating morality or well-being--are popping up all over America. In the name of health, safety, decency, and--shudder--good intentions, these ever-vigilant politicians and social activists are dictating what we eat, where we smoke, what we watch and read, and whom we marry. Why do bureaucrats think they know what's better for us than we do? And are they selectively legislating in the name of political expediency? For instance, why do we ban mini-motorbikes, responsible for five deaths each year, and not skiing, which accounts for fifty deaths each year? Why is medical marijuana, a substance yet to claim a single life, banned and not aspirin, which accounts for about 7,600 deaths? Exhaustively researched, sharply observed, and refreshingly lucid, Nanny Sate looks at the myriad ways we are turning the United States into a soulless and staid nation--eroding not only our personal freedoms but our national character. Jacket design by Jamie Keenan


Compare
Ads Banner

When did we lose our right to be lazy, unhealthy, and politically incorrect? Move over Big Brother! An insidious new group has inserted itself into American politics. They are the nannies--not the stroller-pushing set but an invasive band of do-gooders who are subtly and steadily stripping us of our liberties, robbing us of the inalienable right to make our own decisions, a When did we lose our right to be lazy, unhealthy, and politically incorrect? Move over Big Brother! An insidious new group has inserted itself into American politics. They are the nannies--not the stroller-pushing set but an invasive band of do-gooders who are subtly and steadily stripping us of our liberties, robbing us of the inalienable right to make our own decisions, and turning America into a nation of children. As you read this, countless busybodies across the nation are rolling up their sleeves to do the work of straightening out your life. Certain Massachusetts towns have banned schoolyard tag. San Francisco has passed laws regulating the amount of water you should use in dog bowls. The mayor of New York City has french fries and doughnuts in his sights. In some parts of California, smoking is prohibited...outside. The government, under pressure from the nanny minority, is twisting the public's arm into obedience. Playground police, food fascists, antiporn crusaders--whether they're legislating morality or well-being--are popping up all over America. In the name of health, safety, decency, and--shudder--good intentions, these ever-vigilant politicians and social activists are dictating what we eat, where we smoke, what we watch and read, and whom we marry. Why do bureaucrats think they know what's better for us than we do? And are they selectively legislating in the name of political expediency? For instance, why do we ban mini-motorbikes, responsible for five deaths each year, and not skiing, which accounts for fifty deaths each year? Why is medical marijuana, a substance yet to claim a single life, banned and not aspirin, which accounts for about 7,600 deaths? Exhaustively researched, sharply observed, and refreshingly lucid, Nanny Sate looks at the myriad ways we are turning the United States into a soulless and staid nation--eroding not only our personal freedoms but our national character. Jacket design by Jamie Keenan

30 review for Nanny State: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooders, Priggish Moralists, and Other Boneheaded Bureaucrats Are Turning America into a Nation of Children

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    Well, who'd have thunk this dyed-in-the-wool lefty-liberal would like a book that's blurbed on the back by such conservative stalwarts as Tucker Carlson and David Boaz? Chalk it up to my ingrained civil libertarianism. Harsanyi makes some great points about the government's continuing intrusion into every aspect of everyday people's lives. I didn't agree with everything he said; two examples where we will have to agree to disagree involve consumer safety laws (I think businesses should be punish Well, who'd have thunk this dyed-in-the-wool lefty-liberal would like a book that's blurbed on the back by such conservative stalwarts as Tucker Carlson and David Boaz? Chalk it up to my ingrained civil libertarianism. Harsanyi makes some great points about the government's continuing intrusion into every aspect of everyday people's lives. I didn't agree with everything he said; two examples where we will have to agree to disagree involve consumer safety laws (I think businesses should be punished when they put the public at risk) and laws regarding pet ownership (years of rescue work means that I will nearly always be in favor of laws meant to help animals, unless they are absolutely draconian). But for the most part, I agree. I don't need the government telling me what I can or can't do with my body, whether it's getting a tattoo, eating trans fats, or getting an abortion. Honestly, doesn't the government have bigger problems than making sure everyone makes the right decision all the time?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Greg Perciak

    This book is a hoot, written by libertarian columnist David Harsanyi of the Denver Post. He provides numerous examples of how the government is over reaching into our lives at the urging of activists whether they're pushing health, safety, or family values. Examples: banning of trans fats in NY and pate de fois gras in Chicago, sneering at the overweight, shunning smokers. His point isn't so much to trash activists, though he does, but to indicate that we're becoming a nation of children - citiz This book is a hoot, written by libertarian columnist David Harsanyi of the Denver Post. He provides numerous examples of how the government is over reaching into our lives at the urging of activists whether they're pushing health, safety, or family values. Examples: banning of trans fats in NY and pate de fois gras in Chicago, sneering at the overweight, shunning smokers. His point isn't so much to trash activists, though he does, but to indicate that we're becoming a nation of children - citizens can no longer choose how to live their lives, no matter how stupid those choices might be. I remember how we survived cars without seatbelts, bikes without helmets, toy guns with caps, and plenty of other activities that would make today's hovering parents holler for legislation. But to Harsanyi, "the five most frightening words in the English language [are:]: something needs to be done."

  3. 4 out of 5

    Joy

    This book is for anyone who was an adult before the mid-80s to early '90s when nannyism really sank their mommy claws in. It's for people who thought that being an adult was about making decisions, being in control of your life and accepting the consequences of those decisions. This book, clearly written in the early aughts, is little more than nostalgia now. In some ways we have more freedom because society has accepted more individuality. Unfortunately, society has found new scapegoats to repla This book is for anyone who was an adult before the mid-80s to early '90s when nannyism really sank their mommy claws in. It's for people who thought that being an adult was about making decisions, being in control of your life and accepting the consequences of those decisions. This book, clearly written in the early aughts, is little more than nostalgia now. In some ways we have more freedom because society has accepted more individuality. Unfortunately, society has found new scapegoats to replace the old ones. The circle of life...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Loveliest Evaris

    Unfortunately, accidents happen. But in this day and age the mindset is, "we have all this technology and all this acquired knowledge and know-how. Why CAN'T we prevent accidents and mishaps?!" Because, no matter what you do, people will get hurt. Mentally: Ack! Everything so far has been [A]! I must've done something wrong.. But I'm SURE that I calculated those answers right.. Don't know... should I change or ... aaaaaah! .. Emotionally: He said he'd call, and when he finally did he just said " Unfortunately, accidents happen. But in this day and age the mindset is, "we have all this technology and all this acquired knowledge and know-how. Why CAN'T we prevent accidents and mishaps?!" Because, no matter what you do, people will get hurt. Mentally: Ack! Everything so far has been [A]! I must've done something wrong.. But I'm SURE that I calculated those answers right.. Don't know... should I change or ... aaaaaah! .. Emotionally: He said he'd call, and when he finally did he just said "Hey". Does he not care about our relationship? Why is he playing with my emotions! Sob!! Dove Chocolate you're my only boyfriend!! Physically: I got hit by two cars. One each on a separate occasion. The first one I was playing my GameBoy SP (Fuck yeah!) and the van that drove immediately after I was just about to make it to the curb whacked me in the back of the head with it's way-stuck-out mirrors.. I was basically unharmed, but pretty shook up because it was so sudden , you know? The second time I was riding my bike through a neighborhood intersection. I had my helmet on (foreshadowing) and I didn't think to stop and pause to see if there were any cars coming from my right (I had some pretty sweet momentum going on - on account that I had just dipped down from a big hill) .. A car came to my right, I swerved, closed my eyes, and waited impact. The whole world was twisting and no matter what I couldn't stop myself until inertia and momentum and velocity and yadda yadda ran out... I have some scars on my inner thigh and a severe aversion to bicycles (this happened 3 years ago. I still haven't ridden one since.. I can't help it) .. and if I hadn't worn my helmet I wouldn't be talking to you today (severe coma -> pull the plug , or hemorrhaging and death.. 1000 ways to die >_> <_< ) The point is, you can't prevent all accidents. Unfortunately, humans are prone to making mistakes, to act on their own selfish urges. I think we will all let slide the guy who eats too many pieces of cake at a birthday party when it's not even his, but embezzlement and pyramid schemes are the worst. But what am I getting at? Oh yes.. Well that incident that happened before with the bicycle? I didn't sue the guy for hitting me. SHOCKING! Oddly enough, he was a classmate's father and my classmate was in the car at the time of the accident as well. People these days take drastic measures to make sense of why something happened. Forget God's Divine Plan, it's always someone else's fault. While I do hate that I had the bad enough luck to cross an intersection with a car coming at my blind spot, I do not blame him for hitting me. I just rode right in the middle of the road.. I ACCEPT responsibility for my actions. It kind of was all my fault, and I'm sad to say that the man who hit me still feels very bad about it after a handful of years. It's not your fault :( Anyways... sorry for going off on tangents.. The government should provide programs for those in need and can't make ends meet, but shouldn't be nosing their way in on everyday life. Banning dodgeball? Really? Yes it makes people feel very left out for being picked last or having all the balls hurled at you, but if you're the only one left standing, of course they will aim at you! And if you're so afraid, stand behind your team mates. And why are you putting all your eggs in one basket for acceptance? Gym? Really? People are born jocks. If you're not good at sports, then get really good at English or Math or Art, because being good at sports doesn't really help you in the long run UNLESS you are aiming to get a job that requires strenuous physical activity or playing for a professional sports team. What I didn't like about this book was that the author has a sour note in his voice. I don't like that, especially when I'm on the fence trying to decide what course of action should've been more appropriate for the situation. I think that, no matter what your policy political-wise, there is always the exception to your blanket of governing strategy. Food Stamps and welfare are perfect for those who, though they work two jobs to support their three kids, can't make ends meet. But on the other hand, lazy good-for-nothing shmucks who spend it on crack should be exempted from these "hand outs" .. I hate calling them "hand outs" . What's the harm in getting some extra help from somebody else? I hate asking for help because I feel like I can do it on my own, but if I really need help I will ask because it's better than muttering and wallowing in your own despair over the fact you can't get anything done right :/

  5. 4 out of 5

    Carl

    "...this book is not a manifesto of indifference (because certainly we must help the least fortunate among us) or an endorsement of indulgence (because only a fool would deny that smoking leads to all kinds of miserable diseases, obesity is a wretchedly unhealthy state, and drinking...well, drinking is almost always fun - but don't drive!) but a book about freedom, personal responsibility and free will. It isn't about ignoring the hazardous decisions we make, it's about being able to exercise ou "...this book is not a manifesto of indifference (because certainly we must help the least fortunate among us) or an endorsement of indulgence (because only a fool would deny that smoking leads to all kinds of miserable diseases, obesity is a wretchedly unhealthy state, and drinking...well, drinking is almost always fun - but don't drive!) but a book about freedom, personal responsibility and free will. It isn't about ignoring the hazardous decisions we make, it's about being able to exercise our right to make those decisions in the first place. While we still can." I was looking for more of the philosophy behind libertarianism instead of just countless examples of 'nannyism' and countless examples are what I found. I enjoyed reading about the impingement of my freedom to enjoy porn, weed, and at times alcohol but I felt myself wanting to skip the chapter on the impingement of school children's freedom to play dodgeball. I think most people can agree that the government is involved in nearly every facet of life and I didn't need a book to convince me of this. It did get me to turn around a bit on some issues such as requiring healthy food in schools. It seems to me that protecting kids from having to make a choice between unhealthy snack foods and the opposite doesn't really prepare them for the real world where that choice presents itself everyday. Think of the freshman 15 as an example. I found myself for the first time being outraged at the kind of historical revisionism that seeks to photoshop-out cigarettes from everything from children's books to postage stamps. The most important thing this book may teach you is that the freedom to weigh the facts and make a decision on your own (to smoke, objectify women, eat cheeseburgers with a donut in place of a bun) is a freedom that we are quite able to make on our own without government intervention. Not really for ideological reasons but because most of us are intelligent human beings who know that donut-cheeseburgers will kill us quickly eaten everyday. Certain people out there will always make poor decisions while the majority of us will make smart ones, and regulation of these types of choices will harm/inconvenience those who would ordinarily make the sound choice while not affecting those who would ordinarily make the unsound choice. I liked this book, I did. It was fun to read an author who I'd agree with in the first part of a paragraph but disagree with at the end. I've always fancied myself a libertarian in regards to so-called 'vice crimes'. I think I should be able to light up a fatty in the privacy of my own home (or a public park), or drink beer while walking down the street if said behavior doesn't harm those around me (which I hold doesn't). While I don't agree that we should cut out all sorts of public spending in order to start holding people more 'accountable' for things beyond their control, having read this book I'll start to question government intrusion a bit more carefully before I co-sign any legislation that dictates people's behavior in an area they could otherwise judge for themselves.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cami

    I enjoy Harsanyi's work in Reason magazine and while sympathetic to its premise, other books depict much better the libertarian argument against the "nanny state". He makes the same mistakes I feel other libertarians do in that they can't just say: "Sure, drinking, porn and marijuana are bad for you, but we shouldn't make those decisions for grown adults and their prohibition causes more problems." He goes farther and tries to justify those actions saying that drinking and masturbation are good I enjoy Harsanyi's work in Reason magazine and while sympathetic to its premise, other books depict much better the libertarian argument against the "nanny state". He makes the same mistakes I feel other libertarians do in that they can't just say: "Sure, drinking, porn and marijuana are bad for you, but we shouldn't make those decisions for grown adults and their prohibition causes more problems." He goes farther and tries to justify those actions saying that drinking and masturbation are good for you. Ugh, that is NOT the point that libertarians should try to make. He also says that there is no "involuntary" exposure to second-hand smoke. "Living with a smoker is voluntary. Spending time indoors with a smoker is voluntary." Not if you're a child or that indoors location is your workplace. I absolutely believe people should be able to make the very foolish (in my opinion) decision to smoke, but that doesn't mean I have to be exposed to it. That is them FORCING their decision on me. Also, Harsayni is very critical of private advocacy groups, even if they are not trying to enact legislation. I feel libertarians should not discourage private groups like MADD from presenting their arguments (unless they receive taxpayer funding). Private, grassroots groups trying to educate people without coercion is EXACTLY how change should be made, not through the government. This book was published in 2007. I can't believe how much worse things are now. Nanny Bloomberg's crusade against salt, soda and trans fats; Czars over everything; and, of course, Obamacare have put us even more under Nanny's control. If you would like to read more about this, I highly recommend Mark Steyn's After America. It is a much more entertaining and well-written read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

    This idea has so much potential, but Harsanyi's book is utter crap. He's an opinion columnist, and his "style" (I use the word generously) is much better suited to a 750-word newspaper article than to a 200+ page book. It is obvious and important that Americans' freedoms are being whittled away by government "nannies" (think seatbelt laws, schools banning tag and dodgeball, cities and states banning unhealthy foods, etc.). It's really too bad that a more gifted writer couldn't address this very This idea has so much potential, but Harsanyi's book is utter crap. He's an opinion columnist, and his "style" (I use the word generously) is much better suited to a 750-word newspaper article than to a 200+ page book. It is obvious and important that Americans' freedoms are being whittled away by government "nannies" (think seatbelt laws, schools banning tag and dodgeball, cities and states banning unhealthy foods, etc.). It's really too bad that a more gifted writer couldn't address this very real problem. Harsanyi makes no distinction between the nannies of the federal government and the nannies of state and local governments. While the two groups are similarly intrusive, laws enacted at the local level are much more likely to be reflections of the collective will (ie, of the local community) than those imposed by the Feds. The book also contains dozens, if not hundreds, of typographic, grammatical, and punctuation errors. With poor argumentation, lack of coherence, choppy writing, and sloppy editing, Nanny State seems more like a tedious essay written by a high school sophomore than a serious book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Interesting look at the trend toward "nanny" laws...looked particularly at areas including smoking bans, laws regarding food and alcohol, school playgrounds, porn, etc. Used many specific examples of laws he considered "nanny-ish," several of which were based on bad science or badly distorted data, and indicative of the loss of personal liberties. While I won't go as far as he seems to in denouncing certain laws as restrictions on our God-given rights (for example, I think seat belt laws are a g Interesting look at the trend toward "nanny" laws...looked particularly at areas including smoking bans, laws regarding food and alcohol, school playgrounds, porn, etc. Used many specific examples of laws he considered "nanny-ish," several of which were based on bad science or badly distorted data, and indicative of the loss of personal liberties. While I won't go as far as he seems to in denouncing certain laws as restrictions on our God-given rights (for example, I think seat belt laws are a good thing), I agree with his premise that government regulation isn't (or at least shouldn't be) a replacement for individual self-control or common sense. His "slippery slope" argument is also convincing; if a municipality can ban smoking or drinking or trans fats because of the health risks, where do you stop in the quest to ban "bad" substances? The author's tongue-in-cheek style keeps the book moving forward and prevents it from becoming too didactic or dry. For more book reviews, visit my blog, Build Enough Bookshelves.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Adam Ross

    A mixed bag. Harsanyi relishes in being allowed to choose "bad" things, and I think libertarians would be better served in focusing somewhere else. He is for prostitution and pornography and rails against those who want to eliminate them, and there I cannot follow him. But he also does a good job showing us just how patronizing and "nannying" our government has become. The first few chapters are on legislation against drinking, smoking and "unhealthy" foods, trans fats, sugar and so forth. These A mixed bag. Harsanyi relishes in being allowed to choose "bad" things, and I think libertarians would be better served in focusing somewhere else. He is for prostitution and pornography and rails against those who want to eliminate them, and there I cannot follow him. But he also does a good job showing us just how patronizing and "nannying" our government has become. The first few chapters are on legislation against drinking, smoking and "unhealthy" foods, trans fats, sugar and so forth. These activities of our government (local, state, or federal) should be greeted by nothing more than a horse laugh and onwards to eat your fries anyway. He documents the folks who get frantic about obesity and shows that they often cook the books to make it appear fat is a bigger problem in our country than it really is. For instance, the report of 400,000 obesity-related deaths per year was eventually revealed to be wildly wrong and the actual number was closer to 23,000. While some of the information in the book like that is interesting, I doubt I'll be going back to the book for anything.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alicia Shafer

    Pretty good premise - that there are too many needless laws that basically protect us from ourselves. This makes sense for a lot of what the author talked about like laws outlawing fatty foods or seat belt laws, but it seemed like he also included a lot of things that makes sense like smoking laws. Basically he is a fairly strong libertarian, so if you are into that you will probably agree with most of the book. The main reason I rated it low, however, was that his tone was really annoying. You Pretty good premise - that there are too many needless laws that basically protect us from ourselves. This makes sense for a lot of what the author talked about like laws outlawing fatty foods or seat belt laws, but it seemed like he also included a lot of things that makes sense like smoking laws. Basically he is a fairly strong libertarian, so if you are into that you will probably agree with most of the book. The main reason I rated it low, however, was that his tone was really annoying. You can see an example in the subtitle. A lot of the book was in that tone, which I found too Bill O'Rielly like for my taste.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Sarlog

    A thought-provoking look at how increasing governmental regulations, fueled by alarmists, are stripping away our personal freedoms. Various topics are discussed, such as food, smoking, alcohol, playground games and pornography, and Harsanyi argues convincingly how statistics are distorted to convince legislators to pass laws that govern more and more of our personal choices. In essence, our freedom to choose is being taken away because of the fear that some will make bad choices (hence the title A thought-provoking look at how increasing governmental regulations, fueled by alarmists, are stripping away our personal freedoms. Various topics are discussed, such as food, smoking, alcohol, playground games and pornography, and Harsanyi argues convincingly how statistics are distorted to convince legislators to pass laws that govern more and more of our personal choices. In essence, our freedom to choose is being taken away because of the fear that some will make bad choices (hence the title).

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lucas Miguel

    Um dos melhores livros para entender o quão prejudicial é a intervenção dos estado. O livro mostra que algumas leis são feitas com as melhores das intenções, proteger o cidadão, mas na forma que são colocadas o mesmo se sente uma criança desprotegida que precisa ser rapidamente ajudada, pelo que David Harsanyi chama "Estado Babá". O livro se baseia nas leis implementadas na terra do Tio Sam, mas isso não é exclusivo dos EUA, podemos ver vários exemplos que se encaixam perfeitamente em projetos o Um dos melhores livros para entender o quão prejudicial é a intervenção dos estado. O livro mostra que algumas leis são feitas com as melhores das intenções, proteger o cidadão, mas na forma que são colocadas o mesmo se sente uma criança desprotegida que precisa ser rapidamente ajudada, pelo que David Harsanyi chama "Estado Babá". O livro se baseia nas leis implementadas na terra do Tio Sam, mas isso não é exclusivo dos EUA, podemos ver vários exemplos que se encaixam perfeitamente em projetos ou leis brasileiras. Por último, livro excelente para a iniciação nos estudos liberais/libertários.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    While I did not agree with everything in this book, I did think it cast a disturbing light on the increase of Nanny Laws in the United States. So many of our personal freedoms are being slowly chiseled away, a small chip at a time.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Barb

    This columnist's book takes on the trend of government treating people like children who need to be protected from themselves: the "food police," cigarette police and seat-belt police. Whatever happened to common sense? Interesting and informative.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Raymond

    The problem with some political books is that they devolve into a "This is my premise. It is bad. See? This, this and this happened. Then there was this premise. It is also bad. Etc." This one is very guilty of it, and would work better as a blog/web page.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Karen (Living Unabridged)

    I agreed with many points of this book but Mr. Harsanyi is far more libertarian than I. I found his arguments about drunk driving laws particularly unpersuasive. Worth your time if you like the mental exercise of arguing with the author.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    This was an entertaining look at the nanny state emerging in the US. The writer was a little too snarky and thought he was too clever for my tastes. Still, a good quick read for those with even the slightest libertarian bent.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Pete

    This book lays out in numerous examples that people are trying to decide what's best for you, and that if you don't like it you can pound sand. Also goes into the "science" behind trans fat and smoking bans.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    The only problem with this book is that it will give the nannies ideas.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Scary!

  21. 5 out of 5

    John Weibull

    One of the best books I've read on the nanny state, and the eroding of our civil liberties. Time to speak up now people! I want my foie gras!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kiki

  23. 4 out of 5

    Hilary Godwin

  24. 5 out of 5

    David

  25. 5 out of 5

    Miri

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alison

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  28. 4 out of 5

    Victor Anderson

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

  30. 4 out of 5

    Avie Flanagan Vaughan

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.