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by
Rick Moran

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July 30, 2013 - 4:37 pm

Conservatives sometimes go overboard describing how government worms its way into every corner of our lives. But the Obama administration appears to be doing its best to validate that notion by creating what they’re calling a “Behavioral Insights Team” that is part of a government wide effort to change your behavior.

Why are we spending money on this crap?

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.

Should a government in a free society be in the business of trying to alter people’s behavior — subtly or otherwise? I suppose if you interpret the “common good” to mean treating everyone like a robot to be programmed to behave in a certain way, then yes. But I doubt most Americans would see it that way and resent their government trying to make the behave in an “acceptable” manner.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
But hey, it's perfectly alright for the NSA to gather information about everyone.

The government would never ever use it, the secret FISA court could never be partisan or anything.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
This whole idea relies on the presumption that the government knows what is best for society, despite any thoughts people might have to the contrary. The concept subordinates the citizen to the bureaucrat. That is not the theory on which this country was founded. It might be the way things work in the UK, but we fought a bloody war just so we could do things differently over here.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
What do you suppose the odds are that they'll have one of their people devise a way to make low-info voters do a better job of choosing who to vote for next time? Nah, that will never happen. They'll work on ways to make MORE people vote Democrat....
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (13)
All Comments   (13)
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The Brits and their pathetic Nanny State are a perfect model for what we're becoming. Imagine, getting people to pay their taxes by just letting them know most other people have done it! Getting them to insulate their garages and save energy by offering to clean out attics! What's next??? Nudges to combat obesity to cut back on the $147 billion we spend cuz we're so fat. (such nudges are already working in Australia, South Africa, etc.) It's my right to have you pay for my diabetes treatment through Medicare! And, my brothers, soon they will be nudging people to vote for candidates who support Obama's socialist paradise! Thank goodness we're already nudging people in the other direction, by sending certain voters misinformation about how to vote (check Wisconsin) and other voter suppression tactics! And don't forget nudges to shame women from having abortions! We must fight these insidious mind control experiments, unless we use them to our own ends!
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Quoting Milton Friedman again "Just tell me where in the world you find these angels who are going to organize society for us ? "
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Flashback to those N koreans who didn't fake cry sufficiently at Dear lLeader's funeral.







37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe we need to create a Behavorial Insights Team to figger out how to alter government's behavor.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
If the creation of this 'Needed Dept.' does not scare the ever lovin' crap out of anyone with more than a brain stem, then We, The People, do indeed have a giant problem.
** They want doctors to inquire as-to if we've got guns or not, and there's a check-off box for the answer. {Enter Data}
** Seen the Application Questionaire for Obama Care? {Enter Data.}
** Now, this soon to be enabled and expanded monster. Questions to be asked, answers to be processed and penalties levied for non-compliance are all in the offing. If there are no penalties at first, it will only take a short while for them to become "needed". Non-cooperation/-response is going to be a marker for you to be 'subsequently examined'/screwed to a wall.
You might as well figure out your personal plan of action, right here and now.
That 'boiled frog' is gonna be you and me and don't kid yourself, it's happening, for real, right before your eyes..............
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
And what if my "best practices" don't align with theirs? I'm sure they'll just "Nudge" me right along with everyone else.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Better to hire a team of alchemists to find the way to turn debt into actual gold (or a ten-year supply of MREs).

Better to hire a team to discover how current government policies force rational citizens into bad behaviour, e.g. if I can not refi my mortgage to take advantage of current low rates, it seems my only way out is to either drain my retirement savings to subsidize Bank of America's profits or
destroy my credit score by going into foreclosure.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why create a Behavioral Insights Team when they have the MSM? The MSM's ability to brainwash the public into accepting Obama and his policies has proven to be very efficient.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
But hey, it's perfectly alright for the NSA to gather information about everyone.

The government would never ever use it, the secret FISA court could never be partisan or anything.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Welcome to 1984.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
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