Friday, November 8, 2013

Public or private health

In what world is my personal diet a matter of public health?  Apparently government regulators at the FDA have concluded that in this present world, it is.  And in the name of public health they are banning “trans fat”. 
In no way is the ingestion of “trans fat” a public health issue.  If the FDA can argue that it is, then what aspect of my existence is explicitly private in nature?


  1. I think the standard argument that statists would make is that your (or my) health is a public matter because of the costs imposed on the medical care system. As one may note, a growing portion of those costs are borne by the public, rather than by the individual. Thus, since your poor health imposes a cost on the public, it is a public issue.

    My retort, and what should be clear to any reasonable person, is that the public only bears the cost of someone's poor health because the state has interfered so much in the health care market that it has caused the situation to be so. In other words, in the free market, the cost of my poor choices would be borne by me, not members of the public in general. As such, they'd be my concern, not some stranger's, and certainly not the state's.

  2. Beautifully said!

    And with the implementation of Obamacare, government healthcare expenditures will only increase making future government intrusion into my personal affairs more likely.

  3. I forgot to mention that the only reason trans-fat is a concern at all is because of government's previous interventions in the food supply chain. Namely, the attack on saturated fat (which is actually good for us) led to the use of hydrogenated oils in place of animal fat like beef tallow and butter. In other words, this problem was originally a government "solution."