Thursday, January 8, 2009

Lots and Lots of Nudges, No Consequences

In Liberal Land, no one should ever have to accept the consequences of their actions.  We know, for example, what Obama thinks about consequences: "If you make a mistake, I don't want you to be punished with a baby...or a foreclosure...or bankruptcy...or impeachment...or a prison sentence."  But if no one is ever forced to endure the consequences of their actions, chaos will eventually ensue, right?  

Not if we take freedom out of the equation.  Without the freedom to make stupid decisions, people can live their Orwellian lives without having to worry about consequences, and we can preserve order and domestic tranquility without having to subject anyone to serious punishment.  That sounds pretty draconian to conservative and libertarian ears, but leftists aren't particularly fond of freedom, so it sounds pretty good to them.

Given what we know about Obama (i.e., he doesn't like punishment and isn't a big champion of freedom), what can we expect from his administration?  Perhaps we could expect him to appoint a regulatory czar who would combine the power of behavioral psychology with the omnipotence of the Imperial Federal Government to push, or rather, "nudge" us toward Obama-approved righteousness.  Perhaps it's already a done deal:

"Cass Sunstein, a Harvard Law School professor who pioneered efforts to design regulation around the ways people behave, will be named the Obama administration's regulatory czar, a transition official said Wednesday.  

"Mr. Sunstein, a friend of President-elect Barack Obama from their faculty days at the University of Chicago law school, will mark a sharp departure for the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Although obscure, the post wields outsize power. It oversees regulations throughout the government, from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Obama aides have said the job will be crucial as the new administration overhauls financial-services regulations, attempts to pass universal health care and tries to forge a new approach to controlling emissions of greenhouse gases."

Co-author of Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, Cass Sunstein believes that you and I, ungifted mortals with feeble minds, are incapable of choosing good credit card plans, avoiding fatty foods, or planning for a decade or so from now.   But there's hope. Obama, Sunstein & friends will do the intellectual heavy lifting and provide you with the "choice architecture" you need in order to survive in this increasingly complex world.  They know how you think, and with a lots and lots of nudges, they're going to get you going in the right direction.  Whether you're making tough decisions about 401(k) plans, organ donations, or even marriage, Uncle Sam will be there to "help."

How long before nudging gives way to poking and shoving?  How long before poking and shoving give way to something worse?  Hint: Not long.


Obama's Regulatory Czar Likely to Set a New Tone

Obama is coming to give you a nudge.

Obama aide Samantha Power quits over Hillary 'monster' gibe

Having a problem?  Government can make it worse.  Is Feb. 10 financial doomsday for thousands?

How Many Albinos Are in Tanzania?

Pro-Hamas Doctors Caught Faking A Civilian Death... After CNN Airs Footage

Would Americans continue to frequent the same mechanic if each repair bill increased in cost but got no closer to fixing the problem? Taxpayers are already on the hook for over $52 trillion in unpaid-for political promises. That represents a hidden mortgage of $450,000 per American household, and some of us don't think it's right to bury future generations even further under this mountain of debt.

Roland Burris Has Already Constructed His Terrifying Death Chamber.

Warning: facts and satire are recklessly jumbled together on this website, read at your own risk.


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robert verdi said...

The left views people by class, not as individuals, hence the logic that they can mold whole groups of society according to what they see fit.

-suitepotato- said...

Maybe Burris is a would-be lich and planning the mausoleum from which to rise and conquer, creating a magical undead empire?

Or just kooky.

But then, I've known people who had their "equipment" cast in bronze so... the world is weird, growing stranger, and thus limiting ever more our pool of people to choose from.

DaBlade said...

all pretty scary stuff for us contrarians living in Liberal Land :(

Humble wife said...

Gosh had my family not been allowed to regroup after my husband's auto accident, who knows what we would not be doing?

I find that most often crises make one stronger, perhaps not at first, but in the long run. If someone bails you out you need not think for yourself. Sad, as I think of those that fled the potato famine in Ireland that then arrived in the US, and completely reinvented themselves.

When we fix everything we have a nation that has adults in college for seven years partying on mom and dads dime. When I went to school of course one partied(but I paid my own way in school so went through in 3 years). Now not only are college students in for nearly a decade, but then they move back home.

It is time to stop the molly-coddling.
Just my thoughts.