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, James T. Bennett, Professor of Economics, George Mason University; with comments by Theresa Amato, Author, Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny; and Hans A. von Spakovsky, Senior Legal Fellow, Heritage Foundation, and former member, Federal Election Commission. Moderated by John Samples, Director, Center for Representative Government, Cato Institute.
Free markets have few barriers to entry. Individuals and firms can offer new products or services to consumers, thereby fostering competition and choice. American elections, in contrast, are dominated by two parties. Not Invited to the Party synthesizes political science, economics, and history to demonstrate how the two-party system is the artificial creation of a network of laws, restrictions, and subsidies that favor the Democrats and Republicans and cripple potential challengers, depriving voters of truly vigorous political debate. Consequently, Americans are deprived of choices on election day and arguably, deprived of effective and accurate representation in Congress and the presidency. Please join us for a lively discussion of the political limits on electoral competition and reforms that might encourage a more active and responsive government.