Thursday, December 17, 2009

Nanny State Hypocrisy?

Those who claim to be dedicated to the concept of the "free market" like to toss out the concept of the Nanny State when the government proposes a regulation to protect its citizens. A recent example of this is Berin Szoka post: "Congresswoman, CALM Thyself! LA Times Eschews Eshoo Nanny State Bill to Regulate Ad Volume"> Congresswoman, CALM Thyself! LA Times Eschews Eshoo Nanny State Bill to Regulate Ad Volume". Berin writes: "The LA Times has come out swinging in a devastating editorial against Rep. Anna G. Eshoo’s (D-CA) Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act, passed by the House on Tuesday. As Adam Thierer and I have discussed (here, here, and here), and as PFF’s Ken Ferree notes here, this silly paternalist law would require the FCC to issue rules that broadcast and cable TV ads: ..."

The apparent hypocrisy arises when the private sector makes appeals to government to intervene for their protection. Richard Bennett for example writes: "It is time for the U.S. government to take global theft of U.S. intellectual property, especially digital content, much more seriously. A new ITIF report finds that the U.S. government can and should do more to support industry efforts to reduce digital piracy, a growing problem that threatens not only the robust production of digital content, but U.S. jobs. While there are no “silver bullets” to reducing digital piracy, there are a number of “lead bullets” that can and should be implemented. Specifically, ITIF calls on the federal government to not preclude those impacted by digital piracy, including copyright holders and ISPs, from taking steps, including implementing technical controls like digital fingerprinting, to reduce piracy."

So here we have the "free market" advocates writing expansive posts raising significant issues about the evils of the Nanny State when it comes to the trivial issue of volume control. Now when the "free market" sector feels that they need protection, they have no apparent feelings of duplicity in now demanding that the supposed enemy Nanny State step in to protect their interests. Hypocrisy.

So if the government proposes regulations to protect its citizens from abuse, no matter how trivial, we get posts "exposing" how government will take over our lives through abusive and onerous laws. When it comes to the appeals of the private sector for "protection", the Nanny State now becomes our friend. So its OK for the private sector to use the power of the Nanny State, but it is not acceptable for the citizens to be protected by the Nanny State? How Orwellian.

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