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 Paul Cantor, Clifton Waller Barrett Professor of English, University of Virginia, Author, Gilligan Unbound: Pop Culture in the Age of Globalization
Why are libertarian themes suddenly cropping up throughout American pop culture? The popular and irreverent cartoon series South Park has been pursuing a libertarian agenda since its inception in 1997, mercilessly skewering the forces of political correctness in our society. The animated feature The Incredibles—one of the most successful and critically acclaimed films of 2004—celebrates the extraordinary individual in a way that called to mind Ayn Rand for many commentators. And Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator—a film biopic about Howard Hughes—dares to portray a businessman as a hero, a true visionary who risks his own money to build the world of the future while battling a corrupt government in the name of free competition. In these and other developments, Paul Cantor sees a new trend in American pop culture, and analyzes what it means for the future of libertarianism.