Econ 479

The Art of Writing, the Science of Economics

Food for thought…

… so to speak, from The Economist:

America’s national governing ideology is based almost entirely on the assertion of negative rights, with a few exceptions for positive rights and public goods such as universal elementary education, national defence and highways. But it’s become increasingly clear over the past decade that the country simply doesn’t have the political vocabulary that would allow it to institute effective national programmes to improve eating and exercise habits or culture. A country that can’t think of a vision of public life beyond freedom of individual choice, including the individual choice to watch TV and eat a Big Mac, is not going to be able to craft public policies that encourage people to exercise and eat right. We’re the fattest country on earth because that’s what our political philosophy leads to. We ought to incorporate that into the way we see ourselves; it’s certainly the way other countries see us.

I encourage you to think about this problem (and some economic concept that might help us solve it), since it just might come back in some future assignment this semester. Hint, hint…


Written by gregorymcnamee

August 16, 2012 at 11:44 pm

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