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 Charles V. Peña, Cato Institute; Stanley Weiss, Business Executives for National Security; Winslow Wheeler, Author, Wastrels of Defense; and moderated by Christopher Preble, Cato Institute.
The fiscal year 2005 defense budget is more than $400 billion, a seven percent increase over the FY04 defense budget. The administration argues that the increased military spending is necessary for the war on terrorism. The Defense Department projects its budget to grow to more than $487 billion in FY09. Is that sum necessary for U.S. national security and to fight the war on terrorism? How much of the defense budget is wasted on nonessential projects? How can defense spending be better allocated? With the defense budget comprising nearly half of all government discretionary spending, and with U.S. defense spending projected to eclipse what the other nations of the world combined spend on defense before the end of this decade, can the United States sustain such high levels of defense expenditures?