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 the author Jim Harper,
Director of Information Policy Studies,
Cato Institute; with comments by
Director and Senior Fellow, Technology and Public Policy Program
Center for Strategic and International Studies; and Jay Stanley,
Public Education Director, Technology and Liberty Project
American Civil Liberties Union.
Identification is an essential social and economic process, but the advance of identification technologies such as biometrics, identity cards, surveillance, databases, and dossiers threatens privacy, civil liberties, and related human interests. Since September 11, 2001, identification has been advanced as a national security tool, most conspicuously in the REAL ID Act, which calls for states to issue nationally uniform drivers’ licenses and ID cards by May 2008. But state legislators and the American people are chafing at what may be an $11 billion, unfunded surveillance mandate, and legislation to repeal REAL ID has already been introduced. In Identity Crisis Jim Harper argues that identification does not provide the security often assumed, and the overuse of identification harms Americans’ interests in a variety of ways. The solution is to replace the uniform national identity system being advanced by the REAL ID Act with a diverse, competitive identification and credentialing marketplace. Please join us for a lively discussion with distinguished commentators.