Bowdoin College philosophy professor Sarah Conly has written a book advocating benevolent coercion by government to help people make better choices. Her theory comes under devastating attack by Cato’s Trevor Burris here.

Exhorting people to live more responsibly — eating less, drinking less, exercising more, saving more (although Keynesians might say that it would be better if Americans spent more and saved less), etc. — should be left up to non-coercive private action. Letting government employ coercion is usually unproductive or even counter-productive, and dangerous because there is no logical stopping point.