One of the more disturbing trends in government expansion over the last 30 years has been the collection of laws, regulations, and binding court decisions that make up the ‘‘nanny state.’’ Those laws and regulations represent government at its most arrogant. Their message is clear: politicians and bureaucrats know more about how to live your life, manage your health, and raise your kids than you do. Former president Ronald Reagan once said: ‘‘Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.’’ Today’s policymakers would do well to heed Reagan’s words.

More on The Nanny State


Arizona’s Misguided War on Opioids

By Jeffrey A. Singer. Reason. November 7, 2016.

What We Know Today about Marijuana Proves Prohibition Is Wrong

By Jeffrey A. Singer. October 30, 2016.

Up in Smoke

By Ike Brannon and Devorah Goldman. The Weekly Standard. September 12, 2016.

Cato Studies

Designer Drugs: A New, Futile Front in the War on Illegal Drugs

By Ted Galen Carpenter. Policy Analysis No. 774. May 27, 2015.

On the Limits of Federal Supremacy: When States Relax (or Abandon) Marijuana Bans

By Robert A. Mikos. Policy Analysis No. 714. December 12, 2012.

The Budgetary Impact of Ending Drug Prohibition

By Jeffrey Miron and Katherine Waldock. White Paper. September 27, 2010.


Is the Obesity Epidemic Exaggerated? Yes

Patrick Basham and John Luik. British Medical Journal. February 1, 2008.

Public Filings

FCC v. Fox Television Stations

By Ilya Shapiro and Trevor Burrus. Legal Briefs. November 10, 2011.

Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association

By Ilya Shapiro. Legal Briefs. September 17, 2010.

Safford Unified School District No.1 v. Redding

By Tim Lynch and Ilya Shapiro. Legal Briefs. April 2, 2009.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Safety at Any Price?

Phil Murray. Regulation. Fall 2016.

The Menu Police

Policy Report. July/August 2016.

Bootleggers and Mounties

Marni Soupcoff. Regulation. Summer 2016.


Drinks at your Fingertips: Klink & Regulatory Hurdles to Alcohol Delivery

Featuring Matthew Feeney and Kat Murti. April 2, 2015. Cato Digital.

Why Congress Should Legalize Marijuana

Featuring Jeffrey Miron and Caleb O. Brown. December 18, 2014. Sponsor E-Briefing.

Unlucky Strike: Private Health and the Science, Law and Politics of Smoking

Featuring David Boaz. May 13, 2014. Book Forum.