Tuesday, 23 July 2019

'Public health' vs. individual liberty - the debate

Dolly Theis is doing a PhD in 'public health' which suggests that she might waste her life working in that racket. I try to talk her out of it in this podcast. Check it out.

The blurb...

John Stuart Mill articulated the Harm Principle in On Liberty, where he argued that "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others."

So would he have backed the nanny state? Eating sugary food, drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes are legal activities. But politicians still use the law to discourage them. They raise their price, prohibit or limit their advertisement, restrict where they can be sold and consumed, and sometimes ban them outright.

So do these politicians thereby violate John Stuart Mill’s famous principle that people should be free to do whatever they like, provided they harm no one but themselves? Or is the nanny state simply protecting consumers from the harms and excesses of, well, excess. The IEA’s Head of Lifestyle Economics, Christopher Snowdon, and the Programme Director of Big Tent and PhD student studying evidence-based policy Dolly Theis debate the topic.

You can subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts and find more films, blogs, podcasts and reports at iea.org.uk.

Listen now.

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