Monday, April 21, 2008

Paternalism, Yet Again

Bryan Caplan skewers another effort by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein to defend government-mandated, "libertarian" paternalism. As Caplan says, "government long ago took up the burden of helping consumers, and the result is a mess."

Thaler, Sunstein, and their ilk must not have been paying attention when Ronald Reagan (supposedly) said that the scariest phrase a person can hear is "We’re from the government, and we’re here to help you." If you're not scared by that phrase, you should be. If you badly want government to do something, government will do it badly.

Related posts:
"Libertarian Paternalism" (24 Apr 2005)
"A Libertarian Paternalist's Dream World" (23 May 2005)
"The Short Answer to Libertarian Paternalism" (24 Jun 2005)
"Second-Guessing, Paternalism, Parentalism, and Choice" (13 Jul 2005)
"Another Thought about Libertarian Paternalism" (16 Aug 2005)
"Back-Door Paternalism" (20 Jan 2006)
"Another Voice Against the New Paternalism" (22 Feb 2006)
"The Feds and Libertarian Paternalism" (17 Aug 2006)
"A Further Note about Libertarian Paternalism" (15 Sep 2006)
"Apropos Paternalism" (04 Oct 2006)