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.
In her new book, The Case Against Lawyers (Broadway Books, 2002), Catherine Crier of Court TV argues that our legal system has become dangerously dysfunctional. On the civil side, Crier deplores the politicians, bureaucrats, and personal injury lawyers who have rigged the system so that they accrue wealth and power from our litigation-crazed culture. On the criminal side, Crier lambastes the insanity of the drug war, which diverts the limited resources of the police, courts, and prisons from the fight against violent criminals. Crier chastises her fellow lawyers for creating a legal system that produces results and profits for the fewÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½and paralysis, frustration, and injustice for the many. Please join us for a wide-ranging critique of the American legal system and a discussion of what changes might improve that system.