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.
Sen. John McCain
Rep. Jim Cooper
Rep. Jeff Flake
Director of Health Policy Studies, Cato Institute
Louisiana’s congressional delegation has requested $250 billion from the taxpayers to rebuild that one state alone. President Bush and congressional leaders have promised billions of dollars for reconstruction. But without a plan to pay for it, the new spending will blow a hole in the federal budget and soak future generations. The devastation wrought by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita demands leadership and a re-evaluation of spending priorities, first and foremost the costly and unwise Medicare prescription drug benefit set to take effect in January. At this Cato briefing, speakers will argue that Congress should at least delay implementation of the Medicare drug benefit to pay for hurricane relief. A two-year delay that retains “transitional” assistance for low-income seniors would save $84 billion.