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.
Numerous polls show that Americans want to reduce our military presence abroad, allowing our allies and other nations to assume greater responsibility both for their own defense and for enforcing security in their respective regions. Why haven’t we done so? In The Power Problem, Christopher Preble contends that the vast military strength of the United States has induced policymakers in Washington to broaden the perception of the “national interest,” and ultimately to commit the United States to the impossible task of maintaining global order. What does preserving American security require, and how engaged should U.S. forces be beyond protecting our core national interests? To what extent does the status quo advance U.S. security, and to what degree is it undermining our security, imposing unnecessary costs, and forcing all Americans to incur additional risks? Please join Cato’s Christopher Preble and the Nixon Center’s Paul Saunders for a discussion about the nature of American military power, its purpose in U.S. foreign policy, and its power to define the national interest.