Obesity remains a serious health problem and it is no secret that many people want to lose weight. Behavioral economists typically argue that “nudges” help individuals with various decisionmaking flaws to live longer, healthier, and better lives. In an article in the new issue of Regulation, Michael L. Marlow discusses how nudging by government differs from nudging by markets, and explains why market nudging is the more promising avenue for helping citizens to lose weight.
In Bootleggers & Baptists: How Economic Forces and Moral Persuasion Interact to Shape Regulatory Politics, economists Bruce Yandle and Adam Smith explain how money and morality are often combined in politics to produce arbitrary regulations benefiting cronies, while constraining productive economic activities by the general public.
Featuring Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, Senior Judicial Analyst, Fox News, and Author, Constitutional Chaos: What Happens When the Government Breaks Its Own Laws (Nelson Books, 2004); Gene Healy,
Senior Editor, Cato Institute, and
Editor, Go Directly to Jail: The Criminalization of Almost Everything
(Cato Institute, 2004); and moderated by Tim Lynch, Director, Cato’s Project on Criminal Justice
If the price of liberty is eternal vigilance, then it is necessary to take a step back from the transient issues of the day, which so often transfix our capital city, and assess the state of liberty in America. According to two new books, liberty in America has been under a relentless, though often subtle, assault. In Constitutional Chaos, Judge Andrew Napolitano maintains that most Americans take their constitutional rights and liberties for granted and are largely ignorant of how the government breaks its own laws and gets away with it. In Go Directly to Jail, Cato Institute senior editor Gene Healy shows how the government has been criminalizing more and more citizen conduct. With more than 4,000 federal offenses on the statute books and thousands more buried in the Code of Federal Regulations, Healy points out that there are good reasons to be alarmed by the government’s perfectly “legal” restrictions, investigations, and prosecutions. Please join us for a discussion of these disturbing trends and what might be done about them.