White House Creating "Nudge Squad" to Get Us to All Act "Better"

Over at FoxNews.com, Maxim Lott writes about a new "nudge squad" coming out of the Obama White House:

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. 

While the program is still in its early stages, the document shows the White House is already working on such projects with almost a dozen federal departments and agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture. 

"Behavioral sciences can be used to help design public policies that work better, cost less, and help people to achieve their goals," reads the government document describing the program, which goes on to call for applicants to apply for positions on the team.

What sorts of nudging is likely to happen? Possible uses include getting people to pay up back taxes, exercise more, and eat better.

Critics point out that a) expert advice is often proven wrong quickly after being implemented and b) government might have more essential functions that gulling citizens into acting one way or another.

Read the whole article here.

And go here to read the document sent around to academics by White House Senior Adviser Maya Shankar.

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  • Matrix||

    Nudge you with a cattle prod.

  • AlmightyJB||

    wink wink nudge nudge

  • ||

    supporters say the team could make government and society more efficient

    Because humans are robots that need to be made "more efficient".

    "Behavioral sciences can be used to help design public policies that work better, cost less, and help people to achieve their goals,"

    Their goals? Or yours?

  • Adam330||

    "Their goals? Or yours?"

    Those would be one in the same if you were as smart as they are.

  • np||

    Our goals are supposed to be their goals, duh.

    http://www.sovereignman.com/tr.....ers-12257/

    Several years ago in Ukraine, the mob bosses realized that it was a total waste to gun down their rivals in the streets over drugs, gambling, and prostitution. Instead, they found far more profitable… and peaceful ventures to pursue. Namely, banking and politics.

    So the mafia chieftains have put down their guns and put on pinstripes. They ran for parliament. And won.

    [ . . . ]

    There are two main distinctions, though.

    First, in Ukraine, everyone knows that their politicians and bankers are criminals. In the West, we still like to pretend that this is not the case despite the obvious evidence of serially destructive, sometimes genocidal misconduct.

    Second, in Ukraine, the criminals are primarily interested in money.

    And sure, in the West, they rake in a few million dollars here and there. But this truly pales in comparison to the tens of millions that are being stolen in Ukraine.

    But Western politicians aren’t as motivated by money. They’re far more motivated by a desire to control others. And this is something that is far more sinister.
  • Matrix||

    CS Lewis' words ring more and more true.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    They're just going to get our animal spirits all revved up. Because you can centrally plan people's behavior just like you can centrally plan an economy.

    Oh wait, people's behavior is the economy. Awesome, we can do this.

  • ||

    You moron. By volunteering to live in a society in which authority is vested in a government, you tie your fate in with those of your fellows. If anyone is acting in a manner less efficient than what is possible, that person is costing society (i.e. the gov't), which, since it is funded entirely by other citizens, thus imposes damages upon them.

  • ||

    I don't think you're fucking your wife efficiently, JJ. I think you might need some help. We can't have you imposing damage on the rest of us.

    (calls Warty)

  • ||

    I accept your sanction.

  • ||

    Bend over and close your eyes.

  • ||

    Oh Jesus, the entire board has become a SugarFreean dystopia.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    the entire board has become a SugarFreean dystopia.

    A Brave New World where not a donut, root beer, or Snickers bar is to be found.

  • ||

    "has become"?

  • SugarFree||

    Yeah, Nikki. Like this some new thing. I turned this place into a funhouse of my mind years ago.

  • ||

    Whenever you say, "funhouse of my mind", for some reason I just hear, "idealized depiction of my anus."

  • ||

    Will you idiots shut up? You're ruining the mood for JJ and me.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I'm not part of any mind funhouse. I don't do sex jokes.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I don't want to think about the rides in SugarFree's House of Fun.

  • ||

    Nikki, have some Scottish baby puffins.

    Warty cuckolding, SF, what have you wrought?

  • ||

    Omg look at his little beady eyes! I can tell they love me!

  • ||

    Omg look at his little beady eyes! I can tell they love me!

    That's what she said about the last three hobos, and now they're rotting in her broom closet.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    Nikki keeps her broom in a closet? how fancy.

  • ||

    It's a pantry. I can't have rotting hobos where I store my food, JJ. They go in the utility closet.

  • ||

    Why are you letting your hobos rot? This generation just wastes, wastes, wastes. You should be salting your hobos and making hobo bacon or if you're feeling fancy hobo prosciutto.

  • ||

    Hobosciutto. I love that shit.

  • Killazontherun||

    Hobos are just one step above feral ghouls, and their meat is sinewy and tough. Orphansciutto is the prefered food of libertarian lizard people everywhere.

  • ||

    Orphansciutto is the prefered food of libertarian lizard people everywhere.

    Damn it, Killaz, I've got two hours until lunch and now I'm starving.

  • Killazontherun||

    Surviving orphans got the pleasure of baking the Kaiser rolls their former friends were served between. That was a good lunch.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "their meat is sinewy and tough"

    low and slow dude

  • CE||

    I have just assumed that the government has been trying to brainwash everyone for the past 50 years or so. The only real mystery is why it's not working on most of the people on the H&R comment threads.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, I thought that was what the media was for? Evidently not working fast enough for them. We know the media will play their good little statists part in this Nudge nonsense.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    And when I don't change my behavior, does the nudge squad transform into a push squad? When my behavior still doesn't change, does it become a punch squad? If that doesn't change my behavior, will it become a shove people in ovens squad? Because historically, they always become a shove people in ovens squad.

  • Raston Bot||

    I believe they ultimately evolve into brute squads that have a propensity to rhyme which isn't so bad.

  • Sevo||

    EDG reppin' LBC| 7.30.13 @ 1:13PM |#
    "And when I don't change my behavior, does the nudge squad transform into a push squad?"

    Pretty easy to 'nudge' someone with a .38.

  • ||

    Because historically, they always become a shove people in ovens squad.

    This is why libertarians can't have nice things. (Not because of Godwinning. Because they always become a shove people in ovens squad.)

  • CE||

    You know who else shoved people in ovens?

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    The witch from Hansel and Gretel?

  • Matrix||

    I think Hansel and Gretel were the ones who shoved the witch in the oven.

  • Mickey Rat||

    They stood their ground, like any racists.

  • fish||

    Bugs Bunny?

  • Drizzle||

    The Muffin Man?

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    This couldn't have anything to do with the recent decision that propaganda is A-OK, could it? Nah...

  • ||

    Isn't this what the kids are calling libertarian paternalism?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Chris Christie has had it up to here with this libertarian streak running through modern paternalism.

  • Hash Brown||

    I had the exact same thought.

  • NoVAHockey||

    say no more.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I see what you did.

  • fish||

    Limey bastard!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The federal government is hiring what it calls a "Behavioral Insights Team" that will look for ways to subtly influence people's behavior...

    What happens when the Behavioral Insights Team turns on its creator? What happens when the team nudges the federal government to hire more teams for more pay? What happens when the teams get the federal government hooked on bath salts and we all lose our faces?

  • ||

    It'll mean they need more funding.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Seldon Plan?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Jesus. No more social engineering from our inferiors, thanks.

    Yes, the people in government are, by and large, inferior in every important way to the rest of us. Giving them any power of significance is Mistakes 101.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Don't blame me; I voted for the other guy.

  • Mock-star||

    You voted for Kodos?
    Moran.

  • Raston Bot||

    Manning has been found not guilty of the most serious charge of "aiding the enemy". However the private has been found guilty on five counts of violating the espionage act.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    "Behavioral sciences...."

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand, you lost me.

  • ||

    Perhaps they could nudge Nick into providing alt-text.

  • Lord Humungus||

    You know who else wanted to make government and society more efficient?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Al Gore?

  • DontShootMe||

    didn't Mussolini nudge the trains into running on time?

  • CE||

    Plato?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Nudge this, wouldja?

  • LynchPin1477||

    supporters say the team could make government and society more efficient

    The more government does (or tries to do), the less efficient it will be. As for society, short of backbreaking oppression, people are going to do what people are going to do. Trying to "subtly" influence people's actions will only make them come up with new ways of getting the things they always wanted.

  • ||

    Government: He's right, you know. Backbreaking oppression it is!

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Government: He's right, you know. Backbreaking oppression it is!

    Aye. EDG nailed the progression further up. They'll serve up some "suggestions" and when no one pays much attention, they'll start becoming orders, and when few still pay attention, they'll start prosecuting.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    BUT ITS FOR THE CHILDREN

  • Drizzle||

    Wouldn't nudging children get someone put on a list?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Telling children to Pledge Allegiance to Obama is more than a little nudge me thinks.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The federal government is hiring what it calls a "Behavioral Insights Team" that will look for ways to subtly influence people's behavior

    The tent show evangelist hectoring isn't working?

  • Pro Libertate||

    The FTC comes out and expresses deep-set concerns over behavioral targeting. Then we learn that the NSA is accumulating all sorts of information about our online behaviors, and there's some Behavioral Insights Team.

    We'll have come a long way when we realize that what's wrong for the one or the many is also wrong when it's the government. Not that I think behavioral targeting by businesses is wrong, but in general, this viewpoint would help mightily.

  • ||

    Cass Sunstien is behind this.

    My God, just when you thought these fuckers couldn't get any creepier...

  • Hyperion||

    I got distracted when I was typing my post below, and then when I submitted it, I saw yours. Yeah, creepy is definitely the image I get of this administration.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Cass Sunstien who's married to interventionist Samantha Power. That outta give ya the warm and fuzzys.

  • Hyperion||

    This administration gets creepier all of the time.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    And lo, Cass descended from the heavens to impart the fruit of his wisdom to the cattle of the field. And all was good.

  • Hyperion||

    Every time one of Obamas creepy minions nudges you, that's the cue to punch Sunstien in the face.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Maybe Cass is short for Castiel. He's ingested all of the souls of Purgatory and now he's our new Lord and Benefactor.

  • ||

    Dean and Sam aren't going to be too happy about that. Maybe they'll have to gank him.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    When do we get the Leviathan?

  • ||

    I'd rather get the Katie Cassidy version of Ruby back, or Bela.

  • Killazontherun||

    Chick had the coolest grandad of all time.

  • Killazontherun||

    Libertarian Master Plan

    1. Government creates zombies.
    2. Turn zombies on their iron and blood sugar rich and fat public sector masters.
    3. Thank Cass Sunstein for making it all possible.

  • ||

    So am I gonna have one nudge squad telling me it's more efficient to take the bus and to stop walking 1.2 miles to Metro every day, and another nudge squad telling me I need more exercise and to walk more?

  • Killazontherun||

    When I get nudges coming at me from all directions I tend to have orgasms.

  • Killazontherun||

    Whose in the middle of the circle jerk? (two thumbs pointing to self) This guy!

  • Hyperion||

    We all figured out, late last night, that you are likely the green paint bomber. Are you out on bail already, or was it really Nicole, and not you?

  • ||

    Green is sooooo last season!

  • BakedPenguin||

    nicole lives in Chicago, as you would expect from someone who is just the worst sort of person.

  • CE||

    I thought those sorts of people all lived in DC.

  • ||

    Wait! I get it now.

    This is all just entertainment. This is a life sized, real time stage play based on Atlas Shrugged. geeez and for a while there I thought it was a nightmare come true. Whew.

  • CE||

    We read it as a cautionary tale. They read it as an instruction manual.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    "Behavioral sciences can be used to help design public policies that work better, cost less, and help people to achieve their goals," reads the government document

    Every time I think they cannot possible become more untethered from reality...

  • ||

    The federal government is hiring what it calls a "Behavioral Insights Team" that will look for ways to subtly influence people's behavior

    FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK

    YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

  • CE||

    That's why.

  • ||

    Apparently this comes from a book he wrote some years ago. From the wiki:

    Sunstein co-authored Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (Yale University Press, 2008) with economist Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago. Nudge discusses how public and private organizations can help people make better choices in their daily lives. Thaler and Sunstein argue that

    "People often make poor choices – and look back at them with bafflement! We do this because as human beings, we all are susceptible to a wide array of routine biases that can lead to an equally wide array of embarrassing blunders in education, personal finance, health care, mortgages and credit cards, happiness, and even the planet itself."
  • ||

    C'min, be reasonable - he just wants people to make decisions in favor of his obviously superior biases, instead of their own.

  • Killazontherun||

    Whatever problems people have due to being imperfect and somewhat sentient animals only get magnified by magnitudes when we use the social instrumentality of the state which was created out of our failure to be better creatures than we could be.

  • ||

    Samantha Power is that vile fuckers wife.

  • db||

    It's like these fuckers were all part of the same navel-staring nerd support group in college and have managed to take the reins of power.

  • db||

    And I say this as a nerd who was always disgusted at the central planning tendencies of other nerds in my group of friends in college.

  • JW||

    It's vile fuckers all the way down.

  • ant1sthenes||

    It isn't untrue. But it's not like the only two options "flail blindly though life unthinkingly and make stupid choices" or "submit to the will of the Technocracy."

    There's a middle ground where people decide how they ought to act, and establish means of "nudging" themselves to ensure that their behavior matches the standards they chose for themselves, rather than ones chosen for them by a self-proclaimed better. Teaching people how to do this is important for a successful society.

    That's arguably a more libertarian position, since it emphasises rule of reason, and addresses things other than coercion that can enslave a person. By analogy, it's the difference between a direct democracy and democratic republic.

  • PapayaSF||

    Well said. I am of two minds about this. One the one hand, I grant the creepiness and social engineering/central planning aspects. However, government is always force, and the fact that liberals are now interested in "nudging" seems like a concession that simple force is problematic or counterproductive. It's a rejection of traditional liberal/progressive methods of state coercion, and a step in the direction of libertarianism, as long as it is simply not added on top of the existing force of the state (which I grant that it might be).

  • JW||

    Teaching people how to do this is important for a successful society.

    Do you honestly think that granting this power to the institution with a monopoly on force is a good idea?

  • PapayaSF||

    They already have worse powers, so as I said, I think I am OK with this if it is a replacement for the more coercive powers.

  • Azathoth!!||

    This is nagging(what 'nudging actually means) as an augmentaion of those more coercive powers.

  • AlmightyJB||

    OMG! NOT BAD CHOICES! THE HORROR! I am a better person for every bad choice I ever made. 'Cause it taught me humility. Something people like Obama, Sunstien, and Powers sorely lack.

  • ||

    I saw Richard Thaler give a talk when I was in college. I was, and remain, extremely unimpressed.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Did Thaler make you holla?

  • R C Dean||

    The difference between a nudge and a shove is generally in the eye of the beholder.

    And the slope is steep and slippery. This we know for a fact.

  • Dibbler||

    Thought crime mustn't be tolerated.

  • ||

    Wow, and then there's this gem:

    Sunstein has argued, “We should celebrate tax day.”[26] Sunstein argues that since government (in the form of police, fire departments, insured banks, and courts) protects and preserves property and liberty, individuals should happily finance it with their tax dollars:

    In what sense is the money in our pockets and bank accounts fully ‘ours’? Did we earn it by our own autonomous efforts? Could we have inherited it without the assistance of probate courts? Do we save it without the support of bank regulators? Could we spend it if there were no public officials to coordinate the efforts and pool the resources of the community in which we live? Without taxes, there would be no liberty. Without taxes there would be no property. Without taxes, few of us would have any assets worth defending. [It is] a dim fiction that some people enjoy and exercise their rights without placing any burden whatsoever on the public… There is no liberty without dependency.[26]
  • ||

    I have read some of his newspeak rumblings before, but I missed that one. So, he just comes right out and says that freedom is slavery. How unsurprising.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    I have read some of his newspeak rumblings before, but I missed that one.

    Didn't Chocolate Messiah summarize this when he proclaimed "You didn't build that"?

  • ||

    I think I just realized who Tony is.

  • Redmanfms||

    You jest, but Tony has made the exact same arguments vis a vis negative rights being exactly the same as positive rights because they "require" government to implement them.

    I doubt he's actually Sunstein (I suspect he's either real or a Reason staffer), but he certainly has read Sunstein's work.

  • CE||

    That money in your pocket? You didn't earn that, hand it over, citizen!

  • R C Dean||

    I would happily pay taxes (which would be minimal) to support a government that is solely concerned with preserving property and liberty.

  • CE||

    And that would be a mistake.

  • CE||

    In what sense is the money in our pockets and bank accounts fully ‘ours’? In the sense that my employer willingly paid it to me for work I willingly (and somewhat skillfully) performed. In what sense does it belong to the government?

    Did we earn it by our own autonomous efforts? Yes.

    Could we have inherited it without the assistance of probate courts? Yes. Just fill out the beneficiary section on your bank accounts when you sign up.

    Do we save it without the support of bank regulators? Yes, and we could earn higher returns without them.

    Could we spend it if there were no public officials to coordinate the efforts and pool the resources of the community in which we live? Yes, and much more efficiently. Doesn't the Nudge Squad care about efficiency? They said they did.

  • Marc F Cheney||

    In other words, if you accomplished anything through trade, you owe everyone everything.

    I can see how it would be convenient to get people to believe that.

  • hotsy totsy||

    People have been inheriting money way before probate courts existed. And saving money way before banks existed, nevermind bank regulators.

    Damn right we could spend it without public officials coordinating the efforts. I could anyway. And exactly how do public officials "pool the resources of the community in which we live"?

  • Redmanfms||

    And exactly how do public officials "pool the resources of the community in which we live"?

    ROADZZ1111!!!11!11!1!1

  • Anonymous Coward||

    And exactly how do public officials "pool the resources of the community in which we live"?

    A gun, carefully aimed at your head.

  • Adam330||

    What does he think he's proving by pointing out that we all rely on some government services to make money? I also rely on UPS, Verizon, the electric company, my bank, the company that built my car, and numerous other people and organizations. None of them demand some arbitrary percentage of my property or income though.

  • Redmanfms||

    I also rely on UPS, Verizon, the electric company, my bank, the company that built my car, and numerous other people and organizations.

    But ROADZ, EASEMENTS/RIGHT OF WAYS, EASEMENTS/RIGHT OF WAYS, FDIC, ROADZ, etc.

    Don't you see, without government nothing happens!!!

  • Adam330||

    You don't have to deny that government does important things to reject his argument. He just makes that gigantic leap from government does important things to government has right to everyone's property with no explanation, support, or even acknowledgement.

  • JW||

    In what sense is the money in our pockets and bank accounts fully ‘ours’?

    All of it. Ford doesn't come knocking on my door, demanding tribute and that I kiss its ass in the town square, because one of it's cars carried me to work every day.

    And the rest, in order:

    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    No
    No
    No
    Fuck you

  • AlmightyJB||

    "There is no liberty without dependency"

    Seriously, are you trying to nudge me over the edge with that banal tripe.

  • ||

    Sunstein goes on to say:

    If government could not intervene effectively, none of the individual rights to which Americans have become accustomed could be reliably protected. [...] This is why the overused distinction between "negative" and "positive" rights makes little sense. Rights to private property, freedom of speech, immunity from police abuse, contractual liberty and free exercise of religion – just as much as rights to Social Security, Medicare and food stamps – are taxpayer-funded and government-managed social services designed to improve collective and individual well-being.
  • ||

    So government is great because of...government? Is his reasoning here as circular as it seems to be?

    Remember, this is the guy who put the words "libertarian" and "paternalism" together.

  • ||

    No, no, you catamite, his reasoning is very simple. Government exists to protect your rights, therefore you have no rights because you owe everything to government.

  • ||

    Government exists to protect my rights by taking them away? Now I get it! They're putting my rights in safekeeping for me so that I don't abuse them!

  • Killazontherun||

    Up is the new down.

  • ||

    Actually, I'm giving him too much credit. Government doesn't exist to protect your rights, your rights exist because government gives them to you, and therefore you have no grounds to complain when it takes them away. Also, your right to own shit is less important than the government's right to take your shit and give it to more politically important people.

  • Drizzle||

    Right, it's that whole "he beats me because he loves me" thing.

  • ||

    Wait,what? Libertarian Paternalism is a real thing? I thought that was a sarcastic joke.

  • ||

    How the fuck did I miss that? Again, unsurprising.

  • ||

    It made a splash about a year ago, the big examples are things like warning labels and calorie counts everywhere. Being faced with a calorie count as you're buying a big mac is supposed to make you less likely to buy a big mac.

  • CE||

    And McDonald's announced last week that their research showed it didn't change consumer behavior at all.

  • Killazontherun||

    Well then, since the nudge didn't work, I guess we'll just have to ban Big Macs. Hey, we tried, but the people just weren't darn good enough to use those rights responsibly.

  • DontShootMe||

    I look forward to my govt issue calorie card, and having the pimply faced teenager at Micky Dees tell me I cannot have fries with that as it would exceed my caloric allotment for the day...

  • ||

    Oh it's real. And it was basically invented by Sunstein's book.

  • AlmightyJB||

    From Wikipedia:

    "The term libertarian paternalism was coined by behavioral economist Richard Thaler and legal scholar Cass Sunstein in a 2003 article in the American Economic Review"

  • Killazontherun||

    If I had to be stuck on an island with either Che Guevara or Cass Sunstein, I think Che would the more tolerable choice. Even the writer of the Motorcycle Diaries would be far less bullshit to deal with than what you quoted above.

  • fish||

    You'd certainly be less likely to come down with a case of "smug poisoning" with Guevara.

  • CE||

    You know who else was stuck on an island with Che Guevara?

  • Killazontherun||

    The guy from the CIA who was picking up the tab?

  • T||

    A bunch of dead Cubans?

  • Azathoth!!||

    Either one would be fun to torture.

  • R C Dean||

    From what I can tell, he completely misunderstands negative rights, which is the right to exercise your liberty free of government interference.

    When government acts to redress your violation of someone else's right to be free from force, fraud, or theft, it isn't infringing on your negative rights or liberty, which do not include the right to engage in force, fraud, and theft.

    Instead, he is saying "Minarchists agree that government should exist, therefore government can and should do anything and everything." Once you slop over into government as a provider of positive rights, you have lost any principled limit on government.

  • Knarf Yenrab (prev. An0nB0t)||

    His claim that negative rights cost money to enforce, particularly when the negative civil rights laid out in the US Constitution are explicitly stated in the context of a document that lays out, line by line, the only legitimate actions of the state, might be the single most foolish thing I've seen from a "scholar" in many moons. Which is saying something given that neofascist at Harvard who's always going on about mandatory exercise and how humans evolved to need coercion.

    It's one thing to misunderstand Mises's critique of socialist economic calculation, but when you don't understand that *not* punching your neighbor in the face is free, you might just be a proglodyte.

  • hotsy totsy||

    I agree with the distinction between "negative" and "positive" rights makes little sense because rights to private property, freedom of speech, immunity from police abuse, free exercise of religion are ACTUAL RIGHTS. "Positive" rights to Social Security, Medicare and food stamps are not rights at all.

    We need to distinguish rights from simply things that we'd like to have.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    The federal government is hiring what it calls a "Behavioral Insights Team" that will look for ways to subtly influence people's behavior...

    I figured the media pimping for Obama the last 9 years was proof enough that they'd already reached that point.

  • SweatingGin||

    Behavioral Insights Team Can Help.

  • CE||

    B.I.T.

    Makes sense, every horse needs a bit so its master can steer it in the right direction. The spurs and the whip are secondary.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    That's probably why I seem annoyed

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Every time I see nudge I think of a combination of fudge and Nutella. That is all.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    Nutella is breakfast fudge. How do you add fudge?

  • Killazontherun||

    Add confectioners sugar to stiffen of the Nutella to fudge consistency. Of course the calories would be ridiculous at that point. The other day for desert I took ham and cream cheese and creamed it together in the cuisinart then spread it on some ginger snaps. Pretty damn tasty actually.

  • ||

    What the....? I can't even...

  • Killazontherun||

    Have had been baked in ginger and brown sugar, so the taste was well complimented together.

  • Killazontherun||

    Have John Hamm had been baked in ginger and brown sugar . . .

  • ||

    I've been good for weeks about not posting pictures of Jon Hamm going commando, don't tempt me to break that streak.

  • Killazontherun||

    Could an actor have a more appropriate name than Mr. Hamm(y).

  • db||

    Way better this way.

  • Killazontherun||

    Still a bit on the aged side, but his liver being soaked in smooth cognac for a few decades makes it a delicacy like none other.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    I could get behind those Nudge Squads. Groups of people coming around to give me Nutella Fudge... mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I said, "That is all." Why is everyone still going on about this?

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    you're not the boss of us.

  • ||

    He's a libertarian paternalist.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I AM THE OWNER OF MY THOUGHTS.

  • T||

    Nobody else wanted them, did they?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You're all figments of them.

  • AlmightyJB||

    We can control you, not the other way around.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    BREAKING: Appeals judges say NYC's ban on big, sugary drinks at restaurants is unconstitutional.

  • Paul.||

    BREAKING: The government can force you to by insurance, broccoli, or a gun.

  • db||

    It's obvious where this is all leading: government will dictate that you buy certain health care, food, cars, etc. The items and services will be available solely through government run "exchanges," at prices so high you will be able to afford damn near nothing else.

  • Gladstone||

    You know who else wanted to make society "efficient"?

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    Lord Humungus @ 1:20PM?

  • Paul.||

    The federal government is hiring what it calls a "Behavioral Insights Team" that will look for ways to subtly influence people's behavior

    That is delightfully sinister.

  • The Original Jason||

    So... instead of forcibly sterilizing people, we're going to nudge them to get themselves sterilized instead?

    Three generations of imbeciles is enough, after all!

    Just think of the efficiencies!

  • Marc F Cheney||

    If there's one thing we learned from the 20th century, it's that social engineering works.

  • CE||

    It wasn't the process that produced the negative outcomes, it was the people doing the engineering. We have better people now who want to try.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    The beauty of the 'nudge' is that not only can you hide the size and scope of govt, but if they nudge you into doing something that turns out to be stupid, they can blame you and dare you to find in the law exactly where they mandated stupidity, thus protecting themselves from accountability.

  • db||

    The concept of accountability is so foreign to government types that this cannot possibly be the correct explanation.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    How about "public blame" then?

  • CatoTheElder||

    I suspect the nudge will be about as subtle as the nudge I get around April 15 to "voluntarily" file my income tax return.

  • FYTW||

    This is straight out of the filthy heat of Cass Sunstein's ass. There isn't a hell hot enough for that shitstain.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I have just assumed that the government has been trying to brainwash everyone for the past 50 years or so. The only real mystery is why it's not working on most of the people on the H&R comment threads.

    This anodized aluminum top hat is more than just a fashion statement.

  • Gladstone||

  • John C. Randolph||

    I can't even describe how much this creeps me out.

    -jcr

  • Invisible Finger||

    Sounds like a Bully Squad to me.

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