Monday, June 23, 2008

'Nudging' Back

George Will writes:
By a "nudge" Thaler and Sunstein mean a policy intervention into choice architecture that is easy and inexpensive to avoid and that alters people's behavior in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing an individual's economic incentives. "Putting the fruit at eye level counts as a nudge. Banning junk food does not."
And nudging would be acceptable in an ideal society. But we live in the real world.

By real world, I mean that place were government bureaucracy exists. Opt out forms in the real world are only available in a crowded office on the other side of town. And only from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM (minus the hour they take for lunch, of course), Monday through Friday (…while most of us are at work). I can hear it now: Did you bring two valid IDs? Does one have your social security number? No, then try again next week.

I have taken off work too many times for the Department of Waste and Mismanagement to support more of the same. Nudging? No thank you.

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