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 Linda Killian, Senior Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars; with comments by David Kirby, Vice President of Development, FreedomWorks; moderated by John Samples, Director of the Center for Representative Government, Cato Institute.
Many Americans identify themselves as political independents who vote on the basis of issues and candidates, rather than party affiliation. Linda Killian argues that these independent and swing voters are “the centrist voters who decide elections and represent more voters than those at the conservative and liberal ends of the spectrum.” In 2010, self-identified independents swung sharply against the Obama administration and handed the House of Representatives to the Republicans. Nonetheless, given our polarized politics, it is no surprise that these independents, who are “fiscally conservative and socially tolerant,” as David Kirby also noted in his papers on “the libertarian vote,” might feel overlooked and ignored. How will independents affect the 2012 election? Please join us for an uncommon look at the American electorate.