Obama regulatory czar Cass Sunstein is making us sick to our stomach, but Dr. Helen is on the case.
Dr. Helen is creeped out by Obama "nudge" czar Cass Sunstein's delusions of grandeur:
Glenn and I interviewed Cass Sunstein, the author of Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness two years ago. Sunstein is now the Obama administration's regulatory czar. I remember as I listened to him talk about "libertarian paternalism" (isn't that an oxymoron?) that I felt sick to my stomach. In Sunstein's opinion, it seems that justifying the notion that people do not have free will gives license to bureaucrats and politicians to "nudge" people in the direction that they desire them to go. A nudge is often not noticed until it becomes a shove and by then, it is often too late.
Cass Sunstein makes us sick to our stomach too. He's the one who called for "mandatory government propaganda on political websites" last May:
Cass Sunstein, who wrote a white paper calling for “conspiracy theories” to be banned, wants to legally force Americans to “do what’s best for our society” and dilute their own free speech.
Behavioral scientist Richard Thaler, co-author of Nudge, unwittingly revealed the cluelessness of brilliant crusaders with no grounding in how the world works in a July 2008 London Times interview gushing about how "libertarian paternalism" had "caught the imagination of top politicians" including Barack Obama:
So why the political interest? Because you can influence people's choices without being accused of "nannying" and it is cheap. Or, as the authors put it: "If incentives and nudges replace requirements and bans, government will be both smaller and more modest … In short, libertarian paternalism is neither left nor right, neither Democratic nor Republican. In many areas, the most thoughtful Democrats are going beyond their enthusiasm for choice-eliminating programs. In many areas, the most thoughtful Republicans are abandoning their knee-jerk opposition to constructive governmental initiatives."
As we wrote in one of our Cass Sunstein rants reasoned arguments recently, "We're smart enough to think for ourselves, Mr. President," and we have no intention of surrendering our free will, such as it is, to the dictates of an ivory-tower-muddled mind capable of getting it so wrong about his future boss in a July 2004 guest post at Glenn Reynolds' old MSNBC blog:
Obama is a genuinely independent thinker; you can't pigeonhole him. Like many Republican leaders, he's centrally concerned about economic growth. He knows the importance of free enterprise, and he has the courage to speak bluntly to union members about the benefits of free trade. Like the most sophisticated Democrats, he seeks ways of providing jobs and opportunities without busting the federal budget. Far from demonizing his political opponents, he compromises with them and is willing to learn from them. He's also someone of unquestioned integrity and good will.
Update: Cubachi links. Thanks, gorgeous girl!