Cass Sunstein’s “libertarian paternalism”: Czar is “crazy” without the “y”
Obama regulatory czar Cass
Sunstein is making us sick to our stomach, but Dr. Helen is on the case.
By Sissy Willis of sisu
Dr. Helen is creeped out by Obama "nudge" czar Cass
Sunstein's delusions of grandeur:
Glenn and I interviewed Cass Sunstein, the author
of Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and
Happiness two years ago. Sunstein is now the Obama administration's
regulatory czar. I remember as I listened to him talk about "libertarian
paternalism" (isn't that an oxymoron?) that I felt sick to my stomach.
In Sunstein's opinion, it seems that justifying the notion that people
do not have free will gives license to bureaucrats and politicians to
"nudge" people in the direction that they desire them to go. A nudge is
often not noticed until it becomes a shove and by then, it is often too
Cass Sunstein makes us sick to our stomach too. He's the one who
called for "mandatory government propaganda on political websites"
Cass Sunstein, who wrote a white paper calling for
“conspiracy theories” to be banned, wants to legally force Americans to
“do what’s best for our society” and dilute their own free speech.
Behavioral scientist Richard Thaler, co-author of Nudge,
unwittingly revealed the cluelessness
of brilliant crusaders with no grounding in how the world works in a
July 2008 London Times interview gushing about how "libertarian paternalism" had "caught the imagination of
top politicians" including Barack Obama:
So why the political interest? Because you can influence
people's choices without being accused of "nannying" and it is cheap.
Or, as the authors put it: "If incentives and nudges replace
requirements and bans, government will be both smaller and more modest …
In short, libertarian paternalism is neither left nor right, neither
Democratic nor Republican. In many areas, the most thoughtful Democrats
are going beyond their enthusiasm for choice-eliminating programs. In
many areas, the most thoughtful Republicans are abandoning their
knee-jerk opposition to constructive
As we wrote in one of our Cass Sunstein rants reasoned arguments recently, "We're smart enough to think for ourselves, Mr.
President," and we have no intention of surrendering our free will,
such as it is, to the dictates of an ivory-tower-muddled mind capable of
getting it so wrong about his future boss in a July
2004 guest post at Glenn Reynolds' old MSNBC blog:
Obama is a genuinely independent thinker; you can't
pigeonhole him. Like many Republican leaders, he's centrally concerned
about economic growth. He knows the importance of free enterprise, and
he has the courage to speak bluntly to union members about the benefits
of free trade. Like the most sophisticated Democrats, he seeks ways of
providing jobs and opportunities without busting the federal budget. Far
from demonizing his political opponents, he compromises with them and
is willing to
learn from them. He's also someone of unquestioned integrity and good