Because the possibility of effectively supervising government varies inversely with government’s size, so does government’s lawfulness .. This iron law of Leviathan .. Because nothing is as immortal as a temporary government program
.. Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) .. disbursed money to 25 states to fight, among other things, the scourge of soda pop.
Paternalists wield two weapons: mandating the provision of more information (e.g., calorie counts for restaurant menu items); and increasing the cost of bad decisions, meaning those of which the paternalists disapprove.
.. Nutrition policy is replicating a familiar pattern: Increased taxes on alcohol and tobacco mostly decrease consumption by light users, not the heavy users who are the social problem and whose demand is relatively inelastic.
The robust market in diet books, weight-loss centers, exercise equipment, athletic clubs, health foods — between 1987 and 2004, 35,272 new food products were labeled “no fat” or “low fat” — refutes the theory that there is some “market failure” government must correct. But as long as there are bureaucrats who consider themselves completely rational and informed, there will be policies to substitute government supervision of individuals for individuals’ personal responsibility.
As the soft paternalism of incentives fails, there will be increasing resort to the hard paternalism of mandates and proscriptions. Hence the increasing need to supervise our supervisors, the government.