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Fat tax & the liberal tradition

February 17, 2010 3 comments

Earlier today, Stephen Knoll wrote about his campaign for government action to stop people getting fat, and argued that his proposals were consistent with “centre-right” philosophy. He’s half right.

Knoll explained that Australian children are getting fatter, that this will impact on the health budget and that therefore the government should intervene. He correctly pointed out that with our semi-socialist health system people aren’t facing the consequences of their actions and so the current approach is deficient.

But he is wrong when he says that “all potential solutions to the problem however are interventionist and a distortion of free market principles”. Indeed, one of his policy suggestions is fully compatible¬†with the free-market or libertarian philosophy.

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