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The line between “change” and reeducation is becoming far more blurry. My friend John B. sends me the following quote from Time Magazine:

…after an intense mobilization campaign – through citizen councils, churches and Girl Scouts who went door-to-door asking residents why they hadn’t weatherized yet – 85% of the county enrolled. “What worked was creating a sense that we’re all in this together and you’re a social deviant if you don’t join us,” recalls Ralph Cavanagh of the Natural Resources Defense Council. …

If neoclassical economics wants government to let us alone to do what we want, behavioral economics leaves room for government action to help us do what we would really want if we were rational agents. Unfortunately, the qualities that have crippled Washington in recent years – inertia, denial, allergy to complexity, preference for short-term gratification over long-term planning – are our own flaws writ large. ..

I am reminded of the fact that “scientists” in the 1930s were doing social “science” research too. I love too the fact that now “neoclassical economics” is a sentient being. Those that practice behavioral economics are starting to sound like animists. Rather than a long bash on behavioral economics (it is coming soon), you should listen to Richard Epstein here.

4 Responses to “Reeducation You Can Believe In”

  1. Jacob says:

    Oh my gosh, they’re using bandwagon propaganda to make us do stuff!

    Now in the world of Free Market, this would never ever happen! I mean, corporations don’t do that, right? When’s the last time you heard of a corporation that uses that evil science of psychology to convince us that we need to buy their product?

  2. […] Comments « Reeducation You Can Believe In […]

  3. Michael says:

    From the article: “‘I like nudges, but sometimes we need to do more,’ says Harvard’s Mullainathan. Sometimes we need a shove.”

    Jacob, I hope you could tell the difference between advertisements trying to get us to buy things and lynch mobs (http://consumerist.com/5177640/surviving-a-lynch-mob-+-aig-internal-staff-memo).

  4. Harry says:

    Jacob, they’re using propaganda, in this case the big lie, which the NRDC uses routinely. They are a bunch of lawyers who shout so the other side will shut up. As soon as you have figured this one out, let me know. Wintercow has my e-mail address.

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