Archive for the ‘Cass Sunstein’ Category

Via Jawa Report, from FOX:

The federal government is hiring what it calls a “Behavioral Insights Team” that will look for ways to subtly influence people’s behavior, according to a document describing the program obtained by FoxNews.com. Critics warn there could be unintended consequences to such policies, while supporters say the team could make government and society more efficient.

To make society more efficient – because you don’t know how to make your own decisions, they will manipulate you into their chosen path.  They will adjust your choices, and create you into their image of the perfect efficient serf.

Milton Friedman famously said that we should be thankful for government inefficiency, because without it, we’d all be slaves.

Such policies — which encourage behavior subtly rather than outright require it — have come to be known as “nudges,” after an influential 2008 book titled “Nudge” by former Obama regulatory czar Cass Sunstein and Chicago Booth School of Business professor Richard Thaler popularized the term.

The term “nudge” has already been associated with the new program, as one professor who received Shankar’s email forwarded it to others with the note: “Anyone interested in working for the White House in a ‘nudge’ squad? The UK has one and it’s been extraordinarily successful.”

Cass Sunstein is one of the most vile men on the planet, who desires to corrupt institutions made to serve the people into institutions that control the people.  It’s for your own good, you stupid peasant.

Richard Thaler told FoxNews.com that the new program sounds good.

“I don’t know who those people are who would not want such a program, but they must either be misinformed or misguided,” he said.

“The goal is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government by using scientifically collected evidence to inform policy designs. What is the alternative? The only alternatives I know are hunches, tradition, and ideology (either left or right.)”

“Misguided” to this master of puppets is anyone who opposes him.  “MIsinformed” means you haven’t been properly indoctrinated to accept him as your master, as someone who knows better than him.

The goal is to control people, to force them to make decisions they otherwise wouldn’t, to use a government instituted by the people as a tool to preserve freedom as a tool to coerce behavior.  It is the antithesis of freedom, and it is the most insidious form of tyranny.

Thaler is a would-be master of men, and a liar of the first order.

The alternative is that individuals make decisions for themselves, because no luciferian social scientist knows better than any individual in their own life.  He doesn’t know what’s best for you.  You have your own individual life full of information that you’ve collected that makes a difference in your own life that should inform your own decisions.  The “ideology” tack at the end is just to make him seem so “moderate” and “reasonable” by saying he dismisses both sides with his third way… of government leading you, you stupid, contemptible peon.  He mocks any other ideas as hunches, too, as though people don’t make their own decisions.

His ridicule of tradition is easily shot down by a man much wiser – Thomas Sowell:

“For the anointed, traditions are likely to be seen as the dead hand of the past, relics of a less enlightened age, and not as the distilled experience of millions who faced similar human vicissitudes before.”

But they are your masters, and they will lead, and they will educate you into believing that following is your natural condition, your correct place in life, and ultimately that it’s for your own good that you’re a serf.

-

Via HotAir, David Brooks at NYT wants so much more government involved in your life, but it’s so sad that sometimes so much more good government that will tell you how to live doesn’t turn out perfect like it should.  Aww.. poor statist tyrant:

Most government workers are amazingly dedicated and talented, and they put in a level of commitment that is far out of proportion to their salaries.

But we’re also seeing government workers, who, far from checking their own desire for control, have taken it out for a romp.

Brooks is an idiot.  At the bottom of the page, it notes that he’s filling in for Paul Krugman, who’s also an idiot, so he must be competing with Paul Krugman for some inter-office idiocy award.

Auditing low-level agents at the IRS do not “take their desire for control out for a romp”.  Doesn’t work that way.  They may agree with the IRS conservative crackdown plans and go along with them, but the guy doing the paperwork does not come up with schemes and machinations.  The mid-level manager gal doing the office paperwork to make sure the guy doing the lower paperwork doesn’t come up with these schemes.  She may go along with them, but they have to be passed down to her from someone with the authority to be able to waive all the concerns about repercussions for IRS personnel doing something wrong and getting fired.  Normal people do not get together to “take their desire for control out for a romp” at the low level, as though there’s some spontaneously generated lust for power in people who double-check math all day.

It’s hard to tell now if the I.R.S. scandal is political thuggery or obliviousness. It would be one thing if the scandal is just a group of tax people targeting the most antitax groups in the country. That’s just normal, run-of-the-mill partisan antipathy.

Sure, it’s okay if they target people who try to restore the nation to founding priciples.  That’s okay.  It’s fine if you’re tax collectors who target people who want the tax burden reduced through legal means and legislation.  Of course that’s fine.  No problem with that kind of targeted oppression by government whatsoever.

It’s just as okay as if the government targeted any other group that the government didn’t like.  Because after all, the citizen exists solely for the government to deem either worthy or unworthy.

It would be far worse if the senior workers of the I.R.S. have become so isolated by their technocratic task that they didn’t even recognize that using the search term “Tea Party” was going to be a moral and political problem.

Gee, it’s too bad they didn’t come up with a more clever way to target those sniveling teabaggers.  If only they had been smart enough not to outright say they were targeting the Tea Party.  Then they could’ve gotten away with it.

Everyone is treating the I.R.S. issue as a bigger deal, but the Justice Department scandal is worse. This was a sweeping intrusion that makes it hard for the press to do its job. Who is going to call a journalist to report wrongdoing knowing that at some future date, the government might feel perfectly free to track the phone records and hunt you down?

I would have thought a dozen Justice Department officials would have risen up and splashily resigned when they learned of the scope of this invasion. Aren’t there some lawyers in the Justice Department, and, if so, did they go to law schools where the Constitution is left unassigned?

The DOJ smuggled guns to narcoterrorist cartels and hushed it up and you and your reporter friends helped hush it up.  Brooks, when the DOJ decides to make you sign your own confession Soviet-style, you will have earned your statist utopia and all the hard labor it will sentence you to until the end of your days.  Maybe after a few decades in the ground, they’ll even take the time to posthumously rehabilitate you.

We clearly have a values problem in the federal government. We clearly have a few or many agencies where the leaders don’t emphasize that workers need to check themselves, or risk losing what remains of the people’s trust.

There is no “values problem” in the fedgov.  There is a fedgov that is unconstrained by the document that created it.  Men are the same, that’s why we have a Constitution.

We have a Constitution, and that creates our government.  The Constitution is what creates the government and limits it – it is the laws by which the government is created and those it must abide by.  When government ignores the Constitution, as it has been doing, it should have no trust – because it is an entity of domination composed of men with power – whether malignant or benign.   When it ceases to be an entity that exists at the behest of the citizen, it becomes oppressive.  A massive, distant power composed of men with power and no constraints are never deserving of any trust.

I generally support the little behavioral nudges that Cass Sunstein describes in his outstanding book “Simpler” — the subtle policy shifts that induce people to save more, or eat healthier.

Ah, David Brooks, lickspittle for tyrants.

I’d trust somebody with a minimalist disposition like Sunstein to implement these policies.

That’s so precious that you want to be dominated, David.  You’re so vanilla.

But I wouldn’t necessarily trust the people at the I.R.S. or Justice Department to implement them.

Guess who you’re going to get?  Guess who’s going to be running your health care?  Guess who’s been hushing up the murders of your Mexican neighbors to the south?

Cass Sunstein is a tyrant wannabe, along with all of his authoritarian ilk.  Revisit his rave review of “Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism”.  They want to coerce you – to force you – into something they think is good for you.  Brooks wants to be coerced – to be forced – into something someone else thinks is good for him – and he wants you forced as well.  Everybody knows what’s best for you, and they’re going to force it on you, because they’ve decided you need to be forced into what they think you should be.  Brooks wants to be dominated and be controlled by government.

Brooks wants a bad government to dominate him, he just wants one that doesn’t spank too hard.

-

But I’ll end this with a quote from a tax collector and freedom fighter:

samuel adamsIf ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

Part 1 here, mostly about food and people who want the government to dictate to them how they should eat.

And today, part 2, as we look at a Time Magazine piece titled “Tread on Me“.

America was born from resistance to tyranny, and our skepticism of authority is a healthy tradition. But we’re pretty free.

That’s good enough, right?  We’re “pretty free”.  It’s about time we move on in the Tytler Cycle and get back to bondage!  Woo-hoo!  Bondage!  The state will make us free from responsibility and dangers of the world!  They know what’s best for me!

the Don’t Tread on Me slippery-slopers on both ends of the political spectrum tend to forget that Big Government helps protect other important rights

Doesn’t work that way.  This is a question of whether people believe in more or less government control.  Americans believe in less government control, have traditionally always believed in less government control, and only ever believe in having government control them when they’ve been brainwashed and programmed.

But standby for incoming collectivist BS…

Like the right of a child to watch a marathon or attend first grade without getting massacred—or, for that matter, the right to live near a fertilizer factory without it blowing up your house.

There are no such rights.  To be free from danger is not only impossible, but even reduction of danger is not a right – it something paid for by someone’s work – whether it be the soldier, policeman, or factory manager and safety staff.

I guess you could call me a statist.

How about one who will lick the hand that feeds with his chains resting upon him, and someone who I would wish posterity would forget was my countryman?

Go ahead, quote the Ben Franklin line about those who would sacrifice some liberty for security deserving neither.

You forgot the last part – they deserve neither – and will lose both.

But what about the rights of 8-year-old Martin Richard, blown away after watching his dad finish the marathon? Who safeguarded the liberty of 6-year-old Charlotte Bacon, gunned down in her classroom in her new pink dress? What about Perry Calvin and Morris Bridges and the other victims of the West Texas explosion? Nobody read them their rights.

There are no such rights as to be free from danger – and there can be none.

This kind of high-minded utopian fantasy was cranked out back in the 1930s and 1940s by the FDR administration.  There were even oaths made to defend the freedom from want and freedom from fear.

fdr freedom from want fear

Photo by ShortTimer

It is, by itself, nonsense.

Life? What ‘right’ to life has a man who is drowning in the Pacific? The ocean will not hearken to his cries. What ‘right’ to life has a man who must die to save his children? If he chooses to save his own life, does he do so as a matter of ‘right’? If two men are starving and cannibalism is the only alternative to death, which man’s right is ‘unalienable’? And is it ‘right’? As to liberty, the heroes who signed the great document pledged themselves to buy liberty with their lives. Liberty is never unalienable; it must be redeemed regularly with the blood of patriots or it always vanishes. Of all the so-called natural human rights that have ever been invented, liberty is least likely to be cheap and is never free of cost.

- Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers

You cannot legislate industrial accidents out of existence (unless you obliterate industry entirely – which is a goal of the left as a tool to fight Manbearpig).

You cannot legislate madmen out of existence.  You can forcibly disarm the populace, and leave them at the mercy of governmental ruler madmen like maniac cop Chris Dorner.  You can leave them at the mercy of government to make them “safe”.

You do all of those by destroying liberty, something that high-minded collectivist utopians have done in the past to construct human nature into what they want it to be – to “mold the world closer to their hearts’ desire”.

And it almost always looks the same in the end.

H

In contrast to those statist desires, you can safeguard the liberty of 6 year-old Charlotte Bacon.  You need a rough man ready to do violence on her behalf to safeguard that liberty – that liberty needs to be bought, but the left is terrified of the tools of violence to the point where they irrationally declare that to make the gazelle safe from the lion, you must strip the gazelle’s horns.

By the left’s logic, to make the child safe, you must leave her unguarded; and target those who would do her no harm but instead do seek to protect her.  There are people who are actively willing to put their own lives in harm’s way, but they are called monsters for demanding real security.  They are demonized for understanding the tools and nature of violence as defense and deterrent.

You can begin to defend the life of 8 year-old Martin Richard more by identifying the threat and dealing with the threat when it rears its head.  What killed him was islamic terrorism.  We know this.  We all know this, but our government denies it on the basis that their ideology rejects making that judgement.  By the response of the authorities in the Boston bombing case, there will be no more fatalities from those particular two terrorists.  The hundreds of lives saved, like the baker’s new suit in the Broken Window Fallacy, are easily forgotten because they never materialized.  There were no more terrorist attacks from those two because the terrorists were pursued (at a cost of life and harm) and stopped.

Yet there are still high-minded utopians who believe that if they just apologize enough, that if they are sensitive enough, they can stop people who chant for their deaths in the street through just well wishes.

And here’s where the Time writer gets worse:

Our rights are not inviolate. Just as the First Amendment doesn’t let us shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater, the Second Amendment shouldn’t let us have assault weapons designed for mass slaughter.

This is, as Jonah Goldberg would say, bonesnappingly stupid.

The First Amendment totally and completely does let us shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater.

If the government could mandate a white-noise generator that would specifically tune into the sound of a human voice shouting the word “Fire!” so that it could never again be said in a theater and the First Amendment were restricted, what would happen when there is a fire and no one can shout the word?  What happens when no one can give the alarm?  What happens when that lifesaving tool is denied?  It would result in people burned to death.

The Second Amendment totally and completely does let us have modern firearms.  I have yet to take or instruct a firearms class wherein I have taught or been taught to use an “assault weapon” for “mass slaughter”.  Sorry, just doesn’t work that way.

The Second Amendment protects the natural right of self defense.  It codifies it in the Constitution and ensures that the tools of self defense will not be denied.  It does the same in that sense as the First Amendment protecting the word “Fire!”.  It exists as the last full response against oppression, large and small, whether it be a lone criminal or the force of a dictatorial government.

If used improperly or abused, it’s a crime, just like yelling fire when there’s no fire.  If used properly, it’s a wholly necessary lifesaving right; and it protects tools that allow for lives to be saved.  And just like the loss of yelling “Fire!”, if it is taken away, it ends up the same – the result is people burned to death.

To revisit this quote from the “Tread on Me” masochist:

Those of us who support aggressive government action to protect the public ought to acknowledge that it does, at the margins, limit individual rights—the rights of gun owners, the rights of business owners, the rights of the accused. Go ahead, quote the Ben Franklin line about those who would sacrifice some liberty for security deserving neither. But what about the rights of 8-year-old Martin Richard, blown away after watching his dad finish the marathon? Who safeguarded the liberty of 6-year-old Charlotte Bacon, gunned down in her classroom in her new pink dress? What about Perry Calvin and Morris Bridges and the other victims of the West Texas explosion? Nobody read them their rights.

The Bill of Rights is there to limit government.  Governments create oppression.  In a state of nature, there may be terror, but there is no all-encompassing institution that can deny you your natural rights.  The Constitution is there as a contract of free men that created a limited government with the intention of protecting all of our natural rights possible while providing us tools to ensure greater protection for all as well.

I’ve been told that invoking the death of innocents is an emotional appeal rather than a logical argument. And I do admit these tragedies make me angry. But I think it would be logical for our government to try to limit these tragedies in the future.

The author thinks wrong.  There have been a million individual tragedies that are easily forgotten by their magnitude that were undertaken by free men (and sometimes conscripts) to preserve liberty, not to have it thrown away because some statist submissive grovels to beg for tyrants to enslave us all because he is a sniveling coward.

You want to protect people, do it yourself.  You want to prevent tragedies, do it yourself.  You want to tread on me because you’re a coward?  Then you become an oppressor, Mr. Grunwald, and you are trading bought-and-paid-for liberty for security that is not only fleeting, but wholly nonexistent.

We already sacrifice liberty all the time—our right to automatic weapons, our right to walk through airport security with our shoes on, our right to run our businesses however we please.

The writer is an amoebic poltroon who kneels before the might of the state.  We shouldn’t sacrafice our right to automatic weapons, our right to walk through airport security with shoes on, or our right to run our businesses however we please.  Excluding abuse of our rights, which infringes on someone else’s natural rights, it’s not the place of the government to do anything.  Just because the government has abused rights in the past, doesn’t mean we should tolerate it any further.

The rights of the next Martin Richard and the next Charlotte Bacon matter, too.

Yes, and the next Martin and the next Charlotte may be killed by leftists with utopian wishes who demand schools be gun-free zones, ensuring that only criminals and madmen intent on mayhem will be armed.  The next Martin and Charlotte, if they survived being left in a defenseless free-fire zone for 12 years of mandated government schooling, may not like being x-rayed by government lackeys who see them nude any time they get on a plane.  They may not like that when they go to start a business, that their government demands so much from them that it’s easier just to not start the business, that their freedom has been curtailed so much that they don’t have options for a business.

But they may grow up thinking they’re “pretty free”, because there’s always something worse.

The next Martin and the next Charlotte are not one or two children, they are millions of children who will grow into adults in a nation where they are less free.  The next boy may be bashed for being gay because he’s left disarmed against a mob, the next girl may be another Amanda Collins, who was raped because she was disarmed by government.  The next boy may have developed the motor that runs on static electricity, but will never make it because the government has regulated him into oblivion.  The next girl may not want to have her privacy violated by government every time she enters a private contract with an aircraft company to fly her somewhere.

-

There are no shortages of people demanding destruction of liberty.  From Cass “We Must Dominate You For Your Own Good” Sunstein, to any of the intellectuals Thomas Sowell criticizes as dominating sheperds who demand you be their sheep, there is never a shortage of men who wish to dominate and control their fellow man.

There is always a question of how many people believe that becoming sheep is noble, and how many reject that destructive notion of bondage.

From RealClearPolitics:

John Stuart Mill’s classic essay “On Liberty” gives reasons why some people should not be taking over other people’s decisions about their own lives. But Professor Cass Sunstein of Harvard has given reasons to the contrary. He cites research showing “that people make a lot of mistakes, and that those mistakes can prove extremely damaging.”

Professor Sunstein is undoubtedly correct that “people make a lot of mistakes.” Most of us can look back over our own lives and see many mistakes, including some that were very damaging.

What Cass Sunstein does not tell us is what sort of creatures, other than people, are going to override our mistaken decisions for us. That is the key flaw in the theory and agenda of the left.

Implicit in the wide range of efforts on the left to get government to take over more of our decisions for us is the assumption that there is some superior class of people who are either wiser or nobler than the rest of us.

Yes, we all make mistakes. But do governments not make bigger and more catastrophic mistakes?

Think about the First World War, from which nations on both sides ended up worse off than before, after an unprecedented carnage that killed substantial fractions of whole younger generations and left millions starving amid the rubble of war.

Sowell is doubtless referencing Cass Sunstein’s recent treatise on how you’re stupid and need to be dominated and all of western thought on individual liberty needs to be destroyed because you’re too dumb to live, discussed here.

Sowell sums up:

Too many among today’s intellectual elite see themselves as our shepherds and us as their sheep. Tragically, too many of us are apparently willing to be sheep, in exchange for being taken care of, being relieved of the burdens of adult responsibility and being supplied with “free” stuff paid for by others.

Worth reading the whole thing.

Milton Friedman’s distilled short version of why vouchers work:

HotAir has the news roundup on Alabama’s introduction of a voucher system, where the left reacted with rage.

Milton Friedman’s elaborate, thorough version of why vouchers work, why centralization is a problem, and why decentralization and freedom to choose solves many educational problems:

Around 18:40, he begins to discuss “the modern view”, which is much of what Cass Sunstein and the masters-of-men anointed elite regulators believe.  Friedman then goes on to explain how that relates to schooling, and the collectivist vs. individualist view of the purpose of education.

Edgar Friendly on Freedom

Posted: February 26, 2013 by ShortTimer in Cass Sunstein, Humor, Liberty

Commenter Tolarias Rinelle on yesterday’s Cass Sunstein post makes the point that according to Obama’s plan, he (and most of the rest of us) are the enemy.

From the New York Review of Books, Obama’s Regulatory Czar Cass “Our-Wish-Is-Your-Command” Sunstein writes a wonderful piece on a book title “Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism”:

Many Americans abhor paternalism. They think that people should be able to go their own way, even if they end up in a ditch. When they run risks, even foolish ones, it isn’t anybody’s business that they do.

The whole piece is a justification for coercion, as the title says, and a justification for destroying individual citizens’ rights to live their own lives.  This is an anointed elite deciding that he will change the world so that his will can be forced onto you, the disgusting inferior thing that can’t make good decisions.

This is Orwellian newspeak tyranny used to create a Huxleyan Brave New World where the only life available is the one that the master decides.

For example, many of us show “present bias”: we tend to focus on today and neglect tomorrow.  For some people, the future is a foreign country, populated by strangers.  Many of us procrastinate and fail to take steps that would impose small short-term costs but produce large long-term gains. People may, for example, delay enrolling in a retirement plan, starting to diet or exercise, ceasing to smoke, going to the doctor, or using some valuable, cost-saving technology. Present bias can ensure serious long-term harm, including not merely economic losses but illness and premature death as well.

People also have a lot of trouble dealing with probability.

Translation: You’re stupid and short sighted and need to be dominated.

Emphasizing these and related behavioral findings, many people have been arguing for a new form of paternalism, one that preserves freedom of choice, but that also steers citizens in directions that will make their lives go better by their own lights.  (Full disclosure: the behavioral economist Richard Thaler and I have argued on behalf of what we call libertarian paternalism, known less formally as “nudges.”)

The amount of contempt I have for Cass Sunstein at this point is difficult to convey without using colorful metaphors.

Liberal used to mean that one favored liberty, it favored the greatest amount of freedom.  Somehow liberal has come to mean an expansion of the state.  Here, word-twisting corruptor of truth Cass Sunstein says there is “libertarian paternalism”, which goes into his idea of “choice architecture”.  He, the almighty anointed dominator of men, simply changes the rules so the only choices are state-approved choices.  There is the illusion of choice, but there is none.

It has nothing to do with liberal, liberty, or libertarian.  It has everything to do with twisting words and changing the language so that evil deeds can be couched in what used to be good words.

This is even more sinister because it deletes alternatives – it reduces choices and then convinces people they have the freedom to choose.  It creates willing slavery.  Do you want to work in the field or the house?  They’re both “good for you”.

field slaves

And those are your two choices.

Default rules are merely one kind of “choice architecture,” a phrase that may refer to the design of grocery stores, for example, so that the fresh vegetables are prominent; the order in which items are listed on a restaurant menu; visible official warnings; public education campaigns; the layout of websites; and a range of other influences on people’s choices. Such examples suggest that mildly paternalistic approaches can use choice architecture in order to improve outcomes for large numbers of people without forcing anyone to do anything.

Just slowly dissolve the “bad” choices until the master conveys his will to the serf.

You want to smoke?  Tax it, reduce the places you can smoke, ban it outright, then the “good” choice is made.  Individual choice is meaningless – the master has made his decision.

You want to own a gun?  Tax it, reduce the places you can shoot, increase the regulations and restrictions on where you can and when you can use it and own it, make it a difficult right to exercise, and then ban it, and the “good” choice is made.  Individual choice is meaningless – the master has made his decision and enforces his will.

You want to have sex?  Make it shameful, make one type acceptable, another type not.  Increase the social stigma, create blue laws and the like, and then only the “good” choice is left, so only the “good” choice can be made.  Individual choice is meaningless – the master has made his decision and the only choices left to the serf are to do as the master wishes.

For another example of “choice architecture” and the destruction of choice a bit more specifically, Thomas Sowell often notes that he and his wife didn’t have the money to pay for the birth of their first child, so the hospital put them on a payment plan for services.  He joked with his wife when the bill was paid that they finally owned their child.  Destruction of private health care options and mandating insurance drove prices up and took away the option to simply pay the hospitals directly.  Replacing direct payment with health insurance and created higher costs, but it mandated “good”.  Replacing optional health insurance with mandatory employer health care created higher costs, but mandated “good”.  The “good” of single payer has been created as other choices that worked better for individuals were slowly deleted.

Conly is quite aware that her view runs up against widespread intuitions and commitments. For many people, a benefit may consist precisely in their ability to choose freely even if the outcome is disappointing. She responds that autonomy is “not valuable enough to offset what we lose by leaving people to their own autonomous choices.”

Your right to live your own life isn’t valuable.  Your freedom isn’t valuable.  Your freedom to live your own life means you might not make all the best decisions, so you must be dominated into the correct decisions.  Subtly, but you will bow to the master.

To Mill’s claim that individuals are uniquely well situated to know what is best for them, Conly objects that Mill failed to make a critical distinction between means and ends. True, people may know what their ends are, but sometimes they go wrong when they choose how to get them. Most people want to be healthy and to live long lives. If people are gaining a lot of weight, and hence jeopardizing their health, Conly supports paternalism—for example, she favors reducing portion size for many popular foods, on the theory that large, fattening servings can undermine people’s own goals. In her words, paternalism is justified when

the person left to choose freely may choose poorly, in the sense that his choice will not get him what he wants in the long run, and is chosen solely because of errors in instrumental reasoning.Because of her focus on the means to the ends people want, Conly’s preferred form of paternalism is far more modest than imaginable alternatives.

At the same time, Conly insists that mandates and bans can be much more effective than mere nudges. If the benefits justify the costs, she is willing to eliminate freedom of choice, not to prevent people from obtaining their own goals but to ensure that they do so.

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY.

freedom is slavery cropped

Conly is right to insist that no democratic government can or should live entirely within Mill’s strictures. But in my view, she underestimates the possibility that once all benefits and all costs are considered, we will generally be drawn to approaches that preserve freedom of choice. One reason involves the bluntness of coercive paternalism and the sheer diversity of people’s tastes and situations. Some of us care a great deal about the future, while others focus intensely on today and tomorrow. This difference may make perfect sense in light not of some bias toward the present, but of people’s different economic situations, ages, and valuations. Some people eat a lot more than others, and the reason may not be an absence of willpower or a neglect of long-term goals, but sheer enjoyment of food. Our ends are hardly limited to longevity and health; our short-term goals are a large part of what makes life worth living.

According to him.  He will decide what your life is worth.

All of this is contrary to natural law, all of this is contrary to the dignity and rights of mankind.  Of course the tyrants love it, though.

From a practical standpoint, there’s also this:

True, people may know what their ends are, but sometimes they go wrong when they choose how to get them. Most people want to be healthy and to live long lives. If people are gaining a lot of weight, and hence jeopardizing their health, Conly supports paternalism—for example, she favors reducing portion size for many popular foods, on the theory that large, fattening servings can undermine people’s own goals.

Sunstein’s shared view with Conly that food must be controlled because people are too stupid to eat what’s good for them fails not only because it insults the individual (and no amount of his weaseling changes what his intent is); but also because from a purely practical standpoint, deprivation leads to binges, denial leads to excess.  There are some nutritionists who’ve outlined this quite clearly – one of the reasons that diets fail is because people deprive themselves and don’t eat what their body wants them to – eating either too little or too much.

Case and point, somebody who eats 1556-calorie meals:

michelle obama eating

When there’s an authority figure engineering your choices – even when it’s your own mind through a diet, you tend not to respond so well.  The human body doesn’t want to starve itself, and doesn’t like it when it’s forced to starve itself.  The body responds no matter what the mind wants.

first ladies

At the point that she decides not to try to control everything, she can just eat a burger without caring, without budgeting calories, and just eating when it’s right.

The soft tyranny of paternalism, manipulation of language, and destruction of free will ultimately lead to destruction of the individual – like all leftist plots, it requires more and more power and domination and subjugation to succeed.  That’s the only way it can succeed in its own goals – and at that point, the master has decided that slavery is for your own good.