Muscling In

by Don Boudreaux on April 24, 2013

in Hubris and humility, Man of System, Nanny State

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:

The caption to the video that accompanies my review of Cass Sunstein’s book Simpler reads “Cass Sunstein says that the act of choosing is a muscle that gets fatigued.  The more choices people have to make, the more likely they are to make bad ones.”

That sentence is indeed an excellent summary of Prof. Sunstein’s thesis.  Yet it is a thesis fundamentally at odds not only with my own, but with the thesis of many other people who are not so enamored with the alleged promise of a nanny state.

We say, in contrast to Prof. Sunstein, that “the act of choosing is a muscle that gets stronger with exercise.  The more choices people have to make, the more likely they are to make good ones” (assuming, of course, that government socializes neither the benefits nor the costs of such choices).

What a bleak and condescending opinion Prof. Sunstein has of ordinary people.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

Professor of Economics

and

Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA  22030
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