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Gov't Knows Best? White House creates 'nudge squad' to shape behavior

Discussion in 'News & Current Events' started by Revmitchell, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Feb 18, 2006
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    ...Such policies -- which encourage behavior subtly rather than outright require it -- have come to be known as "nudges," after an influential 2008 book titled "Nudge" by former Obama regulatory czar Cass Sunstein and Chicago Booth School of Business professor Richard Thaler popularized the term.

    The term "nudge" has already been associated with the new program, as one professor who received Shankar's email forwarded it to others with the note: "Anyone interested in working for the White House in a 'nudge' squad? The UK has one and it's been extraordinarily successful."

    Richard Thaler told FoxNews.com that the new program sounds good.

    "I don't know who those people are who would not want such a program, but they must either be misinformed or misguided," he said.

    "The goal is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government by using scientifically collected evidence to inform policy designs. What is the alternative? The only alternatives I know are hunches, tradition, and ideology (either left or right.)"

    But some economists urge caution.

    "I am very skeptical of a team promoting nudge policies," Michael Thomas, an economist at Utah State University, told FoxNews.com.

    "Ultimately, nudging ... assumes a small group of people in government know better about choices than the individuals making them."

    And sometimes, he added, government actually promotes the wrong thing.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/201...-nudge-squad-to-shape-behavior/#ixzz2aYQ6ICq6
  2. Don

    Don Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Oct 7, 2000
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    I'm unaware of a "nudge squad" in Great Britain, but will certainly look that up for verification.

    The other, less desirable term, is "thought police."