Anthony Randazzo At Reason’s Hit And Run: ‘The Case Against Libertarian Paternalism’

Full piece here.

Randazzo links to Mark White’s book on the subject.


‘Practically speaking, therefore, nudges can’t do what they are intended for—to design a system to help individuals overcome cognitive biases make choices in their best interests—because economists and policymakers can’t understand the full range of motives that determine “best interest” when picking a retirement planning strategy to consuming a sugary beverage. Instead of helping people overcome cognitive weaknesses, policy makers are just nudging people towards the interests that policy makers prefer. “Libertarian” or not, paternalism is paternalism.’

Expect more from rationalism and perhaps even behavioral economics, however, when used to justify State power by paternalists, or at least as a moral source for law, lawmaking, and public policy.

It’s not just knowledge, but knowledge enough to ‘nudge’ other people.  That’s very appealing to some people.

Taxing soda in Seattle schools has unintended consequences.  It’s not just taxation, it’s banning happy meals altogether.

Related On This Site: I’ve got enough friends, thanks: Cass Sunstein At The New Republic: ‘Why Paternalism Is Your Friend’

Daddy’s Gonna Make You Do It

Sheldon Richman At Reason: ‘Classical Liberalism Vs. Modern Liberalism’

Repost-From The Spiked Review Of Books: ‘Delving Into The Mind Of The Technocrat’

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