The IPA has sent a submission to the Senate Inquiry into Personal Choice and Community Impacts. Included in the submission is a collation of excerpts from a range of published works on the economics, philosophy and practicalities of paternalism generally, and as applied to a wide range of particular policy areas.
Australia has a long history of paternalism. We invented the word ‘wowser’ to describe everything from early closing to restrictions on mixed-sex bathing. Historically, paternalism has been justified on mixture of moral, religious and social grounds. Today those arguments are now framed under the banner of public health.
It is the view of the Institute of Public Affairs that individuals should be free to live their lives according to their values and their preferences. The only activities that can be legitimately constrained are those which have a direct, material impact on the rights of others.
The submission can be accessed here.