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Today's Big Idea: Libertarian Paternalism

The Big Idea for Thursday, December 27, 2012

How do promote good behavior and stigmatize bad behavior without resorting to the heavy hand of government regulation?

The legal scholar Cass Sunstein has reformulated the idea of regulation as such: the government should present individuals, who are often irrational agents, with a series of choices that are framed in a way to "nudge" them to make decisions that will benefit society.

So how can the debate over gun violence -- which is not limited to gun possession but also involves a complex set of behaviors -- be informed by this idea of libertarian paternalism? Even if Congress passes stricter gun laws, our culture will need to change if we want to see less violence and intervene to curtail the behavior of certain individuals. 

 

Perspectives

  1. 1 Can Libertarian Paternalism Change Our Gun Culture?
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  2. 2 The Gun Control Battle. It's Not About Guns As Weapons, but Guns as Symbols.
    David Ropeik Risk: Reason and Reality
  3. 3 Best Way to Prevent Rare Massacres: Focus on 'Routine' Violence
    David Berreby Mind Matters
  4. 4 Substituting Prices for Principles in the Gun Debate
    Daniel Altman Econ201
 

Today's Big Idea: Libertari...

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