On "Libertarian Paternalism"

by Don Boudreaux on January 17, 2007

in Nanny State

Gary Becker and Richard Posner offer sensible criticisms of "libertarian paternalism."

I especially like this point made by Becker:

In effect, the libertarian claim is that the "process" of making
choices leads to individuals who are more capable of making good
choices. Strangely perhaps, libertarian paternalists emphasize process
when claiming conflict among multiple selves within a person, but
ignore the classical emphasis on decision-making process that helps
individuals make better choices.


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