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.
Sen. Jim DeMint,
Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation
The President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform, headed by former senators Connie Mack and John Breaux, delivered its report on November 1. The report included two reform alternatives: a “simplified income tax” and a “growth and investment tax.” While both plans include many pro-growth elements, they are less fundamental than leading tax reform proposals of recent years. Certainly, the panel could have done more to reduce marginal tax rates under both plans.
One of the Senate’s leading tax reformers, Jim DeMint (R-SC), will assess the panel’s proposals and discuss his more comprehensive plan, the “8.5% Tax Reform Plan.” Other top experts will examine the pros and cons of the Bush panel’s report and discuss the steps that policymakers can take to achieve major tax reforms in 2006.