Nudge

Nudge

Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

Richard H. Thaler, Cass R. Sunstein

we endorse what the philosopher John Rawls (1971) called the publicity principle. In its simplest form, the publicity principle bans government from selecting a policy that it would not be able or willing to defend publicly to its own citizens. We like this principle on two grounds. The first is practical. If a government adopts a policy that it could not defend publicly, it stands to face considerable embarrassment, and perhaps much worse, if the policy and its grounds are disclosed. (Those who participated in, or sanctioned, the cruel and degrading actions in the Abu Ghraib prison might have benefited from using this principle.) The second and more important ground involves the idea of respect. The government should respect the people whom it governs, and if it adopts policies that it could not defend in public, it fails to manifest that respect. Instead, it treats its citizens as tools for its own manipulation.

Link · 4014