All the Better to Control You With, My Dear

The Obama Administration is hiring a team of academics, scientists and other specialists to try to change your behavior.

The Behavioral Insights Team has already been dubbed by some people as “the nudge squad” after a book written by Obama lacky and former regulatory czar Cass Sunstein, called “Nudges.” The book’s co-author was Chicago Booth School of Business professor Richard Thaler.

(Ever notice how many creepy people and ideas crawl out of Chicago? The city must be sitting on its own Hellmouth.)

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The concept behind the Nudge Squad is that government can increase “efficiency” among us slack-jawed Neanderthal types by tweaking the way government presents its messages about things like energy conservation, retirement savings and filing your taxes on time.

Translated from the doublespeak, the Administration wants to find better ways to exert its control over you and keep you a voluntarily happy zombie slave.

“I don’t know who those people are who would not want such a program, but they must either be misinformed or misguided,” Thaler said.”The goal is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government by using scientifically collected evidence to inform policy designs. What is the alternative? The only alternatives I know are hunches, tradition, and ideology (either left or right).”

You know what else would work to increase efficiency among government? Having less of it.

And you wanna guess what would make more people go along with government? Creating policies that are well thought out, for legitimate purposes and that aren’t unduly burdensome.

The letter sent out by the Administration seeking people interested in helping the government to better brainwash their fellow man cites a “nudge” program in the United Kingdom, which has made such great strides as sending out tougher letters to late taxpayers that got more people to pay up, and persuading more people that they had to install government-approved attic insulation (at their own cost).

Now imagine the possibilities for selling, say, gun control, global warming, immigration amnesty, universal daycare, a state religion. …

In WWII Germany, the Nazis had a similar program making use of behavioral specialists that aimed to get people to go along with government policies. It was the ministry of propaganda, led by Joseph Goebbels.

The premise behind this whole effort is that Uncle Bo knows best, that a centralized government is better able to decide what’s good for you than you are, even when government has a stupendous track record of making bad calls and sticking with them. (Public education, anyone?) More importantly, this program is designed to help the Administration achieve its goals, not to help you become “efficient.”

This is one in a long chain of policies, each on its own very subtle and sometimes seemingly reasonable, that will contribute to the ultimate destruction of our freedoms. Rest assured, “nudge” will become push, push will become shove.

Guess I’m just one of those misguided souls who thinks government shouldn’t be looking for better ways to coerce behavior.

We should be looking instead at ways to bring our runaway government back under the people’s control.

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