Gov't Knows Best? White House creates 'nudge squad' to shape behavior
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Gov't Knows Best? White House creates 'nudge squad' to shape behavior

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    Colts fan & Stoker owner RitcheyRch's Avatar
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    Default Gov't Knows Best? White House creates 'nudge squad' to shape behavior

    Unfreakingbelievable. Just what we need-One more government program.

    Gov't Knows Best? White House creates 'nudge squad' to shape behavior | Fox News

    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.

    The document was emailed by Maya Shankar, a White House senior adviser on social and behavioral sciences, to a university professor with the request that it be distributed to people interested in joining the team. The idea is that the team would "experiment" with various techniques, with the goal of tweaking behavior so people do everything from saving more for retirement to saving more in energy costs.

    The document praises subtle policies to change behavior that have already been implemented in England, which already has a "Behavioral Insights Team." One British policy concerns how to get late tax filers to pay up.

    "Sending letters to late taxpayers that indicated a social norm -- i.e., that '9 out of 10 people in Britain paid their taxes on time' -- resulted in a 15 percent increase in response rates over a three-month period, rolling out to £30 million of extra annual revenue," the document reads.

    Another policy aimed to convince people to install attic insulation to conserve energy.

    "Offering an attic-clearance service (at full cost) to people led to a five-fold increase in their subsequent adoption of attic-insulation."

    Such policies -- which encourage behavior subtly rather than outright require it -- have come to be known as "nudges," after an influential 2008 book titled "Nudge" by former Obama regulatory czar Cass Sunstein and Chicago Booth School of Business professor Richard Thaler popularized the term.

    The term "nudge" has already been associated with the new program, as one professor who received Shankar's email forwarded it to others with the note: "Anyone interested in working for the White House in a 'nudge' squad? The UK has one and it's been extraordinarily successful."

    Richard Thaler told FoxNews.com that the new program sounds good.

    "I don't know who those people are who would not want such a program, but they must either be misinformed or misguided," he 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.)"

    But some economists urge caution.

    "I am very skeptical of a team promoting nudge policies," Michael Thomas, an economist at Utah State University, told FoxNews.com.

    "Ultimately, nudging ... assumes a small group of people in government know better about choices than the individuals making them."

    And sometimes, he added, government actually promotes the wrong thing.

    "Trans-fats were considered better than saturated and unsaturated fats in the past. Now we know this is an error."

    Every intervention would need to be tested to make sure it works well, said Harvard economics professor David Laibson, who studies behavioral economics and is in touch with the people in government setting up the program. He added that the exact way the team will function is currently unknown.

    "We have to see the details to be sure, but this could work out very well," he said.

    Asked about details, Dan Cruz, spokesman for the U.S. General Services Administration (the department which the team will be a part of) told FoxNews.com: "As part of the Administration's ongoing efforts to promote efficiency and savings, GSA is considering adding some expertise from academia in the area of program efficiency and evaluation under its Performance Improvement Council."

    Maya Shankar did not respond to questions.

    Laibson added that he hoped the U.S. program would stay away from overly controversial subjects.

    "Let's say we want people to engage in some healthy behavior like a weight loss program, and then start automatically enrolling overweight people in weight loss programs -- even though they could opt out, I'm guessing that would be viewed as offensive ... a lot of people would say, 'I didn't ask for this, this is judging who I am and who I should be."

    But Laibson added that there are very real benefits to some "nudge" policies -- such as one that increases the number of people registered as organ donors by making people decide when they apply for a drivers' license.

    Thaler, who is also an adviser to the British Behavioral Insights Team, said that his research also supports automatically enrolling people in retirement savings plans.

    "Many people have struggled to save enough to provide for an adequate retirement. ... Two simple design changes can dramatically improve the situation ... automatic enrollment (default people into the plan with the option to easily opt out) and automatic escalation, where workers can sign up to have their contributions increased annually," he said.

    Jerry Ellig, an economist at the Mercatus Center, said that some "nudges" are reasonable, but warned about a slippery slope.

    "If you can keep it to a 'nudge' maybe it can be beneficial," he added, "but nudges can turn into shoves pretty quickly."
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    Senior Member 65 Sanger 440's Avatar
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    Ya baby O at his best again!! I think the only "nudge" we need is a recall on the prick! Hell look how the idiots are in San Diego about the mayor patting some broads on the ass, they are ready to lynch him and have 2 recalls going on, yet nothing with "O" bring the masses out for a recall or impeachment!!
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    Floatin dirty Lavey29's Avatar
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    We dont need the Nudge Squad, we need the "Nuge Squad" in the WH...NOW

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    Already miss the 310/562 2manymustangs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RitcheyRch View Post
    Unfreakingbelievable. Just what we need-One more government program.

    Gov't Knows Best? White House creates 'nudge squad' to shape behavior | Fox News

    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.

    The document was emailed by Maya Shankar, a White House senior adviser on social and behavioral sciences, to a university professor with the request that it be distributed to people interested in joining the team. The idea is that the team would "experiment" with various techniques, with the goal of tweaking behavior so people do everything from saving more for retirement to saving more in energy costs.

    The document praises subtle policies to change behavior that have already been implemented in England, which already has a "Behavioral Insights Team." One British policy concerns how to get late tax filers to pay up.

    "Sending letters to late taxpayers that indicated a social norm -- i.e., that '9 out of 10 people in Britain paid their taxes on time' -- resulted in a 15 percent increase in response rates over a three-month period, rolling out to £30 million of extra annual revenue," the document reads. Send a letter to congress/POTUS indicating that 8 out of 10 people dont trust politicians regardless of party affiliation... People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones...

    Another policy aimed to convince people to install attic insulation to conserve energy.

    "Offering an attic-clearance service (at full cost) to people led to a five-fold increase in their subsequent adoption of attic-insulation." Al Gore, lead by example if you want people to conserve energy... POTUS/SENATE/H.O.R. lead by example, fly coach, rent sub compact cars... People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones... NOBODY likes a hypocrite...

    Such policies -- which encourage behavior subtly rather than outright require it -- have come to be known as "nudges," after an influential 2008 book titled "Nudge" by former Obama regulatory czar Cass Sunstein and Chicago Booth School of Business professor Richard Thaler popularized the term.

    The term "nudge" has already been associated with the new program, as one professor who received Shankar's email forwarded it to others with the note: "Anyone interested in working for the White House in a 'nudge' squad? The UK has one and it's been extraordinarily successful." WE FAUGHT WARS to get out from under "the crown", why are the EGG HEADS in D.C. so determined to take up what we faught tooth and nail to escape from??? There is NOTHING to learn from the U.K. besides the merits of good dental hygene!!!

    Richard Thaler told FoxNews.com that the new program sounds good.

    "I don't know who those people are who would not want such a program, but they must either be misinformed or misguided," he 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.)"
    WOOKIE, you didn't get that GIANT bootie from eating spinach salads... Lead by example and do the INSANITY challenge, get a six pack, loose that MONSTROUS ass/thighs... THEN talk to me about healthy eating habits...
    If they want to shape my behavior the Olameo SQUad in D.C. can all resign and TRUE UP on their back taxes... That would work best in my case...

    See other suggestions in line above ^^^

    More "suggestions":

    *Stop drive by shootings, they are not good for the community image...
    *Stop shooting little kids in the playground, that is not good for the community image...
    *Stop carjacking people, that doesn't help the image of the URBAN community...
    *Stop driving your car into the local PAWN SHOPS overnight and robbing them, you have already run the grocery stores out of business due to theft... Do you want the PAWN SHOPS to pack up and leave town too???
    *STOP holding up the banks and credit unions or you will have to take the bus 10 miles to cash your check on Friday instead of taking the bus 1 mile...
    *STOP making the guys dealing coke and heroin local heroes, they are killing your youth... Expose them for what they are and stop harboring felons...
    *STOP mixing draino and lye and cold meds, how many dead METH HEADS do you have to see before you realize it WILL happen to you too...

    UPDATE: Sending any bulk mailings funded by the taxpayers to be delivered by the U.S. Postal Service will only cost the tax payers MORE and the U.S.P.S. is already in bad enough shape...

    OLAMO, you already have collected all of our e-mail addresses and cell numbers ILLEGALLY, just figure out how to SPAM your nudge messages and save the tax payers $$$ / save our trees...
    Last edited by 2manymustangs; 07-30-2013 at 09:46 AM.
    Pat Eason, the voice of reason...

  6. #5
    Senior Member ICECREAMAN's Avatar
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    Where I come from that's called social engineering. Been practiced by the MSM for some time now. I'm not surprised Obama wants to create a government paid position to brain wash the already brain damaged to create more brain dead.

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    gn7
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    Maybe its just me, but I don't see the problem here. Nothing that Stalin and Hitler didn't do.



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    Quote Originally Posted by gn7 View Post
    Maybe its just me, but I don't see the problem here. Nothing that Stalin and Hitler didn't do.
    Well, if they are going to GO FOR IT, maybe they should consider just dumping the fliers out of C-17 cargo planes over the metro areas...

    The METROSEXUALS seem to like the OLAMO message and it would save on federal U.S.Postal dollars and their bottom line...
    Pat Eason, the voice of reason...

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    Red Blooded American The Doctor's Avatar
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    Even a brief study of our resident liberals will immediately expose how this has worked on them.
    The best things in life aren't things!

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    Marine Organism Forkin' Crazy's Avatar
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    So why doesn't Hussein Obama come on out and declare himself king?
    "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life"

    - - Robert A. Heinlein

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    Senior Member 65 Sanger 440's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forkin' Crazy View Post
    So why doesn't Hussein Obama come on out and declare himself king?
    That is on next weeks agenda!!
    “If we ever forget that we're one nation under GOD, then we will be a nation gone under.”
    -Ronald Reagan

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    a.k.a. "Mean Pair" Nice Pair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forkin' Crazy View Post
    So why doesn't Hussein Obama come on out and declare himself king?
    That'll be his next nudge, right after they nudge us to save more money, so they can have the raises they deserve.



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