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.
Vic Gold was deputy press secretary for Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign, which launched the conservative revolution in the Republican Party. He went on to collaborate with President George H. W. Bush on his autobiography and to coauthor a satirical novel with Lynne Cheney. But today, he says, the Republican Party is run by people Barry Goldwater wouldn’t recognize-some of whom are identified in his polemical subtitle. His new book is a lively jeremiad against “a fiscally irresponsible, ever-expanding federal government,” a messianic foreign policy, a theocratic view of church and state, and a Republican Party that has accepted all those unconservative ideas. Join us to hear Vic Gold discuss the war for the soul of the GOP and the prospects for restoring its commitment to limited government and a constrained role for politics.