Nannies: They're Good at Taking Care of Kids

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I'm going to have to agree with Ezra that I find Andrew's opposition to congressional efforts to get healthier foods in public school snack machines a bit puzzling.

Andrew headlines his item "Nanny-State Watch," and is citing a post from Cato's Daniel Mitchell called "More Nanny-State Foolishness."

Think about that language for a minute. Nobody likes a nanny state because nannies are people appointed to take care of children while their parents are busy. Andrew and Daniel Mitchell and Ezra and I, however, are grownups so to have the state step in and act like our nanny is offensive and annoying: we're being treated like children.

But guess who should be treated like children? Children! Parents, nannies, and -- yes! -- school officials are supposed to place paternalistic rules on children's behavior to prevent them from doing things (like eating too much junk food) that seems appealing in the short run but that they'll come to regret.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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