Peter Spence on How Governments Nudge You To Do What They Want



Intended to steer people towards better decisions, the ideas of Nudge theory are meant to offer choices, while still getting us to do what the government thinks is best. Its pioneers, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, authors of "Nudge," say that they advocate for "soft paternalism." According to Peter Spence, by attempting to combine concerns about choice with paternalist incentives, they arrive at the bizarre construct of "libertarian paternalism." Since July 2010, the U.K.'s Behavioral Insights Unit (or "Nudge Unit") has merely allowed the state to expand its reach.