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.
With comments from: Paul Feine, Director and Producer, America’s Longest War; Michael Barone, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute; Laura W. Murphy, Director, Washington Legislative Office, American Civil Liberties Union.
America’s Longest War is a new documentary from the Reason Foundation about the federal government’s 40-year war on drugs. It chronicles the history of drug prohibition from President Nixon’s declaration of war in 1971 through President Obama’s broken promises on medical marijuana. After more than $1 trillion taxpayer dollars and thousands of paramilitary raids on American homes and drug arrests each year, the prisons are overflowing with drug offenders.
Is the drug war working? According to the documentary, drug usage rates have not declined and illegal drugs are more available — and cheaper — than ever before. America’s Longest War examines how a policy escalated from a relatively small domestic program that focused on treatment to the multi-billion dollar international war it is today.