Josh Stephens

Libertarian paternalism all up in the hizouse

Green nudges: An interview with Obama regulatory czar Cass Sunstein

From deceptive advertising to misguided public policy to sheer boneheadedness, Americans have no shortage of forces pushing them to make unwise choices. How else to explain Ding-Dongs? Or ruining a perfectly good planet? Legal scholar and avowed environmentalist Cass Sunstein, however, holds out hope that we, both individually and collectively, are not condemned to irrationality. In Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness (released in paperback last month), Sunstein and co-author Richard Thaler explain how enlightened “choice architecture” can close the gap between hedonism and wisdom though “libertarian paternalism”: a kind of minimalist interventionism designed to remedy some of …

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