Fox News reports that our federal government has recently begun assembling what they term a "Behavioral Insight Team". An email from Maya Shankar, a White House senior adviser on social and behavioral sciences, to a university professor was forwarded to Fox. The email requested that it be distributed to people interested in joining the team. It describes their mission as such;
Behavioral sciences can be used to help design public policies that work better, cost less, and help people to achieve their goals.The idea is that the team would "experiment" with various techniques, with the goal of tweaking behavior so people do everything from saving more for retirement to saving more in energy costs.
Guilt me into saving more and to turn the lights off is the reason we have parents! Will the government also begin nagging students who are majoring in English Lit "to get into a program where you can support a family one day"? I imagine they would like to follow the Communist lead of "helping people unlock their potential" by placing them in careers "we've determined will best fit your skill set." It sounds bad when you say careers are selected by the government for kids, but when you say you're helping them unlock their potential it sounds like a big favor.
This whole plan was inspired by a book from former Obama Administrator of the Office of Information, Cass Sunstein. In 2008 Sunstein wrote "Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health Wealth & Happiness".
Published in commie red it's the perfect manifesto for convincing people that others know what is best for you.
Even when we're on our way to making good choices, competitive markets find ways to get us to overcome our last shred of resistance to bad ones. At O'Hare Airport in Chicago, two food vendors compete across the aisle from each other. One sells fruit, yogurt, and other healthy foods. The other sells Cinnabons, sinful cinnamon buns that have a whopping 730 calories and 24 grams of fat. Your Planner may have set the course for the yogurt and fruit stand, but the Cinnabon outlet blasts the aromas from their ovens directly into the walkway in front of the store. Care to guess which of the two stores always has the longer line?
So you see even when you know what is best for you and you want to do what's best for you, you are tricked into voting for the wrong thing. You need help...a nudge to do vote for what's best...the Democratic ticket. Because Democrats will help you overcome evil Cinnabon vendors. Republican's are always tempting you unlimited soda refills and puffing up your ego with the right to pursue happiness. Left all alone in a society of wolves you blow up on Big Gulps and pastries. Because government has your best interest in mind they will nudge you towards water and broccoli. They will nudge you towards careers where you can make the most money in order to pay them the most taxes. They will nudge you towards doing anything they feel is in their best interest.
But who is nudging them? The problem with governments deciding what is the best behavior for their citizens is that government is just a bunch of people. They aren't smarter or better than most anyone else. Do you believe Nancy Pelosi or Michelle Bachman is smarter than your mom? How about Anthony Weiner or Larry Craig? Should those lawmakers have the power to guide your life? America was created specifically for people who wanted to escape government control. Whether it's King George III, or Kim Jong-un. Joseph Stalin or Bashar al-Assad. Leaders who have the power to put policies in place to modify their citizens behavior to however they think is best eventually ends badly.
American's have been nudged towards marriage with tax breaks and we see how many problems that has caused over the past 40 years. Stop nudging us.