Anonymous has a good question that cuts to the heart of welfarism and parent’s rights
I consider myself pro-market, but often wonder about harm from large private companies. The giants (McDonalds, etc) sell shitty food so I don’t eat it. But millions do, they get fat/unhealthy and die. I don’t like “solutions” like Green’s proposal to regulate food advertising, but at the same time I don’t like that companies can do so well selling harmful products. The mental reconciliation I’ve come to is that people who are too lazy or stupid to eat properly bring it upon themselves, with (maybe) some blame accorded to a lack of rules/enforcement about what is actually in food. I’m not sure I’m satisfied with my answer, so what do you think?
Also, how does the situation of a child who has one of the aforementioned lazy/stupid people as a parent fit into this? Should a parent have the freedom to raise the fat little porkers I see in the supermarket? (They seem to at the moment!)
Why do people think they can eat crap food, smoke and drink to excess and treat their kids like walking waste disposal units.?
Because three generations of welfarism and state health care have lowered the general level of personal responsibility for family health.
Combine that with very low educational standards, in English, maths and the sciences and you have an underclass that has easy access to high carbohydrate food, little knowledge of nutritional science and no economic pressure to try and improve their health.
Obesity was once largely confined to the rich, now it is the disease of the poor. Why, because the poor also tend to be less educated and responsible and more state dependent for income, health services and education.
You work as a railway labourer, your wife cleans dunnies at the local RSA. You want to have nine kids.
Right now you do that and all the low child, higher income, gay and single people pay for it. You feed the kids on cheap carbohydrates to fill them up and shut them up and you buy lots of takeaways because you are too lazy or ignorant to cook properly. There is no penalty for this stupidity, in fact you are rewarded with free medical and dental care.
Imagine a truly free society. Have as many kids as you like, educate and feed them to your liking, but be prepared to bear the consequences.
You want nine kids. You’re on low incomes. You either have to pay to feed and educate your kids, or rely on private charities with the power to set conditions.
You pull finger, educate yourself, improve your skills or start a business to raise your income levels sufficiently. Alternatively you settle for three kids.
In a free society, all but the ultra rich would want to insure their own and their kids health. All insurance comes at a price and to reduce those premiums there will be conditions.
Will you attend a course on nutrition? Healthy cooking? If there are obvious health problems, will you enrol your kids in one of the cheap private health monitoring schemes run by the local church, service group, friendly society or entrepeneur?
Will you get your kids involved in sport? Will you sign a pledge to stay away from McDonalds except on birthdays and tax freedom day?
Ironically, welfare statism is a boon to certain industries. Tobacco, alcohol and crap food companies all do well where welfare levels are high.
My contention is simple. The crap food industry is not a symbol of capitalism. It is in fact a symptom of welfarism.
Reduce welfarism, increase personal responsibility, replace state health and education with private and civil society provision and I believe that within a generation, the general level of children’s health will improve dramatically.
Anybody care to argue?