Friday, February 04, 2011

Libertarian paternalism is "in" again

It's interesting to watch words and catch phrases return. Libertarian paternalism is one of those, it's also referred to as "soft paternalism" meaning government can:

help you make the choices you would make for yourself—if only you had the strength of will as well as the sharpness of mind. But unlike 'hard' paternalists, who ban some things and mandate others, the softer kind aims only to skew your decisions, without infringing greatly on your freedom of choice

Some credit Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein from their book "Nudge" -- but the reality is the term has been around much longer.

Even before Thaler and Sunstein wrote a 2003 piece for the Chicago Law review, "Libertarian Paternalism Is Not An Oxymoron" -- However most seem to have not noticed that.

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