Big Government as an Alternative to “Big Government”

Monday, January 15, 2007
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Brit conservative David Cameron has a bright idea as part of his proposal for “social responsibility”: “Firms could buy and sell permits to make alcoholic drinks or fatty foods under plans being put to Tory leaders.”

This is being hailed as the free market solution, much like the trading of pollution permits. However, the only way for a state to enfore tradeable permits for fatty foods or alcohol is to restrict private production of such goods in the first place. This is called “giving businesses the incentive to do more good.” Yet who is to define what is “good” and for whom? The state of course, through the use of intimidation, force, and decree. Then, once the Central Planning Committee on Lifestyle Responsibility decides how much of what can be produced, private businesses can get down to the business of trading/paying for the rights to use their private property as they please. Phew – god bless these free market solutions.

To quote from the article: “…David Cameron is determined to prove his “big idea” – social responsibility – is a coherent alternative to what the Conservative leader dubs Labour’s “big government” approach.”

What’s next? Making consumers purchase and/or trade for the rights to eat fat or drink alcohol? This could put a serious dent in my martini consumption, but in no time at all a heroic black market is sure to come about.

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