In response to:

Shepherds and Sheep

Grant43 Wrote: Feb 26, 2013 12:00 PM
With respect (and I really DO respect you, Dr. Sowell), I believe that Cass Sunstein would respond that as a "libertarian" behavioral economist he is not proposing forcing people to do certain things as much as direct them to specific, 'desirable' behaviors ... kind of like a push-poll. So you are still free to make bad choices, you are just encouraged to make the wise, governmental choices instead. This is not to say that Sunstein is right -- he is not -- but it is important to argue his actual point rather than a straw man.
rightmostofthetime Wrote: Feb 26, 2013 1:08 PM
Grant, you're making a distinction without a difference. Sowell is not arguing against a straw man. Do you doubt that Sunstein is essentially forcing people toward certain behaviors? And it's not like a push-poll. Government policies DO dictate behaviors rather than just suggest them.
Grant43 Wrote: Feb 26, 2013 5:57 PM
You may well be right, Bill, that there is no real difference. However, having read this stuff for some time, I can attest to the fact that Sunstein and his ilk appeal to the 'nudge' factor as their get-out-of-jail card: They claim free will continues to exist, but that the overall society is made better by having choices influenced in certain 'favorable' ways.
DSMike Wrote: Feb 26, 2013 12:08 PM
libertarian is not a big government ideology, fascism is...that is what Cass is...a fascist.
Trublu Wrote: Feb 26, 2013 12:13 PM
Actually he is a crypto fascist.
Auspex Wrote: Feb 26, 2013 12:15 PM
Thank you DSMike! Sick of people confusing libertarian with liberal with big government. Learn your parties people! Libertarianism means people are free to make their own decisions and free to suffer the consequences. i.e. if you "can't" work, there is help (by fostering private charity!). If you "won't" work, it's not the government's job to support you (again see private charity -- if one should develop to support laziness as a disability - again people are free to make whatever charity they want under libertarianism too!).
Grant43 Wrote: Feb 26, 2013 5:54 PM
I agree completely. Which is why the "libertarian" part was in quotes. That's what he calls himself, not what I would call him.
Trublu Wrote: Feb 26, 2013 12:06 PM
Of course he is not forcing them to do certain things. One does not force sheep to chose slaughter, one merely leads them there.
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...