Monday, 19 August 2013

Policy synergies

Last week, I suggested that any government worried about productivity and health costs of things might wish to encourage that there be more sex. It seems to be good for earnings. 

Today, Tim Wilson at The IPA points me to an Australian public health advocate's wish that sitting for more than two hours consecutively be banned. Professor Jonathan Shaw there is worried about diabetes risk. Sitting for extended periods may increase diabetes risk:
"We need changes to occupational health and safety regulations so it is not allowed for people to sit for two hours at a time without a break," he said.
"I think everything should be on the table - taxation levers, town planning, even the layout of office spaces needs to be reconsidered to tackle the growing personal and community impact of chronic disease," he says.
Perhaps we could combine both findings. Instead of banning sitting or taking these kinds of hard paternalistic lines, we could perhaps imagine encouragement of discreet workplace venues that might...

Ok, I'm just going to end with the </reductio> tag and leave it at that. But if someone successfully combines the two in an interesting defense in employment court, I'd love a pointer to the judicial decision in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. Speaking of reductio, The Beatles probably thought it was one when they sang:

    If you drive a car, I'll tax the street
    If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat

    And before I even think about the morality or feasibility of taxing sitting, bring me an
    RCT, not the standard epidemiology analysis which uses the lowest form
    of multivariate regression - throwing everything into a model one can
    measure and then seeing what sticks.