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Encyclopedia > Nanny state

Nanny state is a derogatory term that refers to state protectionism, economic interventionism, or regulatory policies, and the perception that these policies are becoming institutionalized as common practice. This term is primarily in use in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the UK. A word or phrase is pejorative or derogatory (sometimes misspelled perjorative) if it expresses contempt or disapproval; dyslogistic (noun: dyslogism) is used synonymously (antonyms: meliorative, eulogistic, noun eulogism). ... Protectionism is the economic policy of restraining trade between nations, through methods such as high tariffs on imported goods, restrictive quotas, a variety of restrictive government regulations designed to discourage imports, and anti-dumping laws in an attempt to protect domestic industries in a particular nation from foreign take-over... Economic interventionism is a term used to describe activity undertaken by a central government to affect a countrys economy in an attempt to increase economic growth and/or standards of living. ... A regulation is a legal restriction promulgated by government administrative agencies through rulemaking supported by a threat of sanction or a fine. ... Institutionalism can refer to: Institutionalism: Hierarchical organized social structures, using tactical division to divide the work force, paying wages less than needed, to pay even basic living costs, believing their own rhetoric and propaganda, serving the pinnacle position to the detriment of the whole, group think, gone mad. ...



Its usage varies by political context, but in general it is used in reference to policies where the state is characterized as being excessive in its desire to protect ("nanny"), govern or control particular aspects of society. Which particular aspects are considered or claimed to be excessively protected depends on usage. Political usage of the term confines itself in accordance with scope, referring to: Look up policy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see State (disambiguation). ... A nanny is a person who looks after the child or children of one family in their -- the childs -- home. ...

  • national economic and social policies (regulation and intervention) that affect large and state-favored businesses, or
  • international trade policies that favor native corporate industries (protectionism).

For example, politically conservative groups in the United States (especially paleoconservatives that support the free market and capitalism) have used the term in objection to what it claims is excessive in their desire to protect consumers, through state regulations of business, or otherwise social aspects which have an impact upon business, and have appeal as populist causes. It has been suggested that Commerce be merged into this article or section. ... Conservative may refer to: Conservatism, political philosophy A member of a Conservative Party Conservative extension, premise of deductive logic Conservativity theorem, mathematical proof of conservative extension Conservative Judaism britney spears Category: ... The term paleoconservative (sometimes shortened to paleo or paleocon when the context is clear) refers to an American branch of conservative Old Right thought that stands against both the mainstream tradition of the National Review magazine and the neoconservatives. ... A free market is an idealized market, where all economic decisions and actions by individuals regarding transfer of money, goods, and services are voluntary, and are therefore devoid of coercion and theft (some definitions of coercion are inclusive of theft). Colloquially and loosely, a free market economy is an economy... Capitalism generally refers to an economic system in which the means of production are all or mostly privately[1][2] owned and operated for profit, and in which investments, distribution, income, production and pricing of goods and services are determined through the operation of a free market. ... In economics, a business is a legally-recognized organizational entity existing within an economically free country designed to sell goods and/or services to consumers, usually in an effort to generate profit. ... Populism is a political ideology or rhetorical style that holds that the common person is oppressed by the elite in society, which exists only to serve its own interests, and therefore, the instruments of the State need to be grasped from this self-serving elite and instead used for the...

Liberals on the other hand have used the term to describe the state as being excessive in its protections of businesses and the business class —protections ostensibly made against the public good, and the good of consumers. This usage applies to the international context as well, where the "public good" is used to refer to people in general, and where the state is viewed as being excessive in its protection of native business over foreign (rival) businesses. American liberalism—that is, liberalism in the United States of America—is a broad political and philosophical mindset, favoring individual liberty, and opposing restrictions on liberty, whether they come from established religion, from government regulation, from the existing class structure, or from multi-national corporations. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... In economics, a public good is a good that is non-rivalrous and non-excludable. ... Consumers refers to individuals or households that purchase and use goods and services generated within the economy. ...

The term "Nanny State" was probably coined by the Conservative British MP Iain Macleod who wrote "what I like to call the nanny state . . ." in his column "Quoodle" in the December 3, 1965 edition of The Spectator. The Conservative Party (officially the Conservative and Unionist Party) is the second largest political party in the United Kingdom in terms of sitting Members of Parliament (MPs), the largest in terms of public membership, and the oldest political party in the United Kingdom. ... A Member of Parliament, or MP, is a representative elected by the voters to a parliament. ... Iain Norman Macleod, PC (11 November 1913 – 20 July 1970) was a British Conservative Party politician and government minister. ... is the 337th day of the year (338th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1965 Gregorian calendar. ... Cover of the Nov 12, 2005 issue of The Spectator magazine. ...

American foreign policy critic Noam Chomsky regularly uses the term "nanny state" to refer to U.S. protectionist policy. President of the United States, George W. Bush (right) at Camp David in March 2003, hosting the British Prime Minister Tony Blair. ... Avram Noam Chomsky (Hebrew :אברם נועם חומסקי Yiddish: אברם נועם כאמסקי) (born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist, philosopher, political activist, author, and lecturer. ...

Various uses of term

Policies such as bans on smoking in public places, high taxes on junk food, bans on recreational drug use, excessive gun control, a legal drinking age or legal smoking age that is higher than the age of majority, political correctness, censorship, and content regulation are seen by their opponents as an example of a functioning nanny state. Such actions are said to operate on the assumption that the state (or, more often, one of its local authorities) has a duty to protect the citizenry from their own harmful behavior, and that it knows best what constitutes harmful behavior. Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... The cigarette is the most common method of smoking tobacco. ... One definition of public space or a public place is a place where anyone has a right to come without paying an entrance or other fee. ... Cheetos The Luther Burger, a bacon cheeseburger which employs a glazed donut in place of each bun. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Gun politics is a set of legal issues surrounding the ownership, use, and control of firearms as well as perceived safety issues related to firearms both through their direct use and through criminal use. ... The legal drinking age is a limit assigned by governments to restrict the access of children and youth to alcoholic beverages. ... The cigarette is the most common method of smoking tobacco. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Political correctness is the alteration of language to redress real or alleged injustices and discrimination or to avoid offense. ... Local governments are administrative offices of an area smaller than a state. ...

A separate category of decisions claimed to represent a nanny state are those which emerge from extreme application of public health, risk management of health and safety policies. Examples have included the proposed felling of mature horse chestnut trees by Norwich City Council in case children slipped on fallen chestnuts,[1] or Tewkesbury's Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership delaying providing napkins with crime prevention information to elderly people receiving home delivered meals from the local council, until a risk assessment of the dangers of choking could be carried out.[citation needed] The European Commission has also been criticized as acting like a nanny state by banning mercury in barometers as of June 2007.[2] Species Aesculus arguta: Texas Buckeye Aesculus californica: California Buckeye Aesculus chinensis: Chinese Horse-chestnut Aesculus flava (): Yellow Buckeye Aesculus glabra: Ohio Buckeye Aesculus hippocastanum: Common Horse-chestnut Aesculus indica: Indian Horse-chestnut Aesculus neglecta: Dwarf Buckeye Aesculus parviflora: Bottlebrush Buckeye Aesculus pavia: Red Buckeye Aesculus sylvatica: Painted Buckeye Aesculus turbinata... Norwich (IPA: //) is a city in East Anglia, in Eastern England. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Berlaymont, the Commissions seat The European Commission (formally the Commission of the European Communities) is the executive branch of the European Union. ... General Name, Symbol, Number mercury, Hg, 80 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 12, 6, d Appearance silvery Standard atomic weight 200. ... A barometer is an instrument used to measure atmospheric pressure. ...

Conservatives and libertarians tend to use the term to oppose new government regulations, although many traditional conservatives may also advocate paternalism, which some liberals and socialists regard as being much the same as a nanny state. A common criticism of nanny state policies is that they are less concerned with the welfare of citizens than with preventing litigation[citation needed]. Ths article deals with conservatism as a political philosophy. ... See also Libertarianism and Libertarian Party Libertarian,is a term for person who has made a conscious and principled commitment, evidenced by a statement or Pledge, to forswear violating others rights and usually living in voluntary communities: thus in law no longer subject to government supervision. ... Image of traditional cultural paternalism: Father Junipero Serra in a modern portrayal at Mission San Juan Capistrano, California Paternalism refers usually to an attitude or a policy stemming from the hierarchic pattern of a family based on patriarchy, that is, there is a figurehead (the father, pater in Latin) that... Look up liberal on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Liberal may refer to: Politics: Liberalism American liberalism, a political trend in the USA Political progressivism, a political ideology that is for change, often associated with liberal movements Liberty, the condition of being free from control or restrictions Liberal Party, members of... Socialism refers to a broad array of doctrines or political movements that envisage a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community[1] for the purposes of increasing social and economic equality and cooperation. ...

The British Labour Party politician Margaret Hodge is perhaps the best known defender of the nanny state, saying at a speech to the Institute for Public Policy Research on 26 November 2004, that "some may call it the nanny state but I call it a force for good".[citation needed] The Labour Party is a political party in the United Kingdom. ... Rt. ... The Institute for Public Policy Research is a think tank in the United Kingdom, with close links to the ruling Labour Party. ... is the 330th day of the year (331st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The city state of Singapore has a reputation as a nanny state, owing to the considerable number of government regulations and restrictions on its citizens' lives. Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, the architect of the modern Singapore, has observed that "if Singapore is a nanny state, then I am proud to have fostered one."[citation needed] A city-state is a region controlled exclusively by a city, usually having sovereignty. ... The former Supreme Court building, which was in use between 1939 and 2005, as it appeared in August 2006. ... Minister Mentor is a cabinet position created by the Singapore government in 2004 as part of a major leadership reshuffle. ... This is a Chinese name; the family name is 李 (Li) Lee Kuan Yew, GCMG, CH (Chinese: ; Pinyin: ; born September 16, 1923; also spelled Lee Kwan-Yew), was the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore from 1959 to 1990. ...

In poker

In Texas hold 'em poker, several pundits have labeled Pocket Queens (one with a red suit, one with a black suit) as the Nanny State hand. Though the origins of the nickname are ambiguous, it has become acceptable jargon within the poker realm.[citation needed] Texas hold em involves community cards available to all players (pictured here on the left). ...

See also

A night watchman state, or a minimal state is a form of government in political philosophy where the governments responsibilities are so minimal they cannot be reduced much further without becoming a form of anarchy. ...


  1. ^ World Conker Championships 2003. BBC. Archived from the original on 2005-03-17. Retrieved on 2007-07-12.
  2. ^ Banks, M., Jones, G.. "Barometer makers lose battle over mercury", Telegraph, 2007-07-06. Retrieved on 2007-07-23. 

For other uses, see BBC (disambiguation). ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 76th day of the year (77th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 193rd day of the year (194th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 204th day of the year (205th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


  • Mother Nation - Opposite value to Nanny State promoted by Progressive Conservatives
  • Nanny Knows Best - Anti-nanny state blog
  • Guardian Society article defending the nanny state
  • The Conservative Nanny State by Dean Baker (May 2006)
  • News and articles from NannyState.net
  • Nanny State: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooders, Priggish Moralists, and other Boneheaded Bureaucrats are Turning America into a Nation of Children By David Harsanyi

External links

  • Nanny State - A comical glance at the Nanny State



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