Nanny state

Do we know best or should governments give us choices but try to make it difficult for us to things that are unwise?

There's been a lot of debate of late about the power of governments over companies, and the role of state regulation of financial markets.

But what about the power of the authorities over us as people - as individuals - how much liberty should we have?

Opinion usually divides between those who want government right out of our private lives, and those who see a bigger role for it as the keeper of morality and wise behaviour - what's sometimes called the nanny state.

But is there a middle way? professor Julian Le Grand works in health and education economics for the London School of Economics, and he thinks there might be.

But can you have true freedom if the government is trying to show you down one particular path? Dr Madsen Pirie, president and founder of the Adam Smith Institute, is sceptical.

Neither a borrower or a lender be. That's what your grandmother might have told you. But she was wrong wasn't she? The truth is that without finance - borrowing now to build to repay tomorrow - we wouldn't have economic advancement.

It was the ability of farmers and traders to borrow on the strength of what would then come in that enabled advanced societies to develop. It got our commentator Chris Brazier thinking.

Available now

18 minutes

Last on

Fri 7 Aug 2009 07:32 GMT

Business Daily Podcast

MP3 Player.jpg

Download every programme.