Richard White's Reviews > Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

Nudge by Richard H. Thaler
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's review
Dec 06, 2010

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Recommended to Richard by: Glen Beck Reading list
Recommended for: progressives, conservatives who want to understand the progressive tactics

Sunstein and Thaler build the situation the reader needs to have in order to accept the general theories and practices put forth in this book. The new term "Liberatarian Paternalist" is coined to ease a more conservative person into acceptance of a "Choice Architect".

People are grouped into "Econs" (Smart people) and "Humans" (everyone else including all us dumb little people). Humans are continuously being shown as not able to make decisions, especially intelligent decisions.

Government oversight and paternalism seems to be the solution to all of the situations presented. Humans need structure and they need someone to make decisions for them!

If you want to know where some of the recent Obama Administration ideas came from, look no farther than this book. A couple of Michelle Obama's recent pushes are stated directly in the text.

If you read the bulk and still have reservations, one of the last chapters gives the reader some counter points to explain why you should want to accept this practice.

The reader is made to feel stupid if they don't accept the premises stated. I don't subscribe to the methods of the writers and their arguments that they are correct in implementing these types of methods across the board. While choice architecture could be used in some situations, I think that this "nudge" is not a slippery slope that we should be going down!

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