by Jon Guze
Senior Fellow, Legal Studies, John Locke Foundation
And David Henderson has written a typically insightful peice about it in the Wall Street Journal. Here’s the ending:
In Mr. Thaler’s influential 2008 book “Nudge,” written with Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein, he advocated “libertarian paternalism”–having government set default rules but allowing people to opt out at low cost. One example is making helmets mandatory for motorcyclists. The libertarian twist? Messrs. Thaler and Sunstein tout writer John Tierney’s idea to let daredevils opt out by taking an extra driving course and showing proof of health insurance.
Mr. Thaler has yet to apply in a serious way his theory of irrationality to government officials. Their bad decisions are even worse because citizens bear most of the costs. It would be great if Mr. Thaler explored this area more. Someone should nudge him.