The Center for Blurbs in the Public Interest
Well said, Glen. I do not find Thaler's arguments convincing in the least.
Great job on the responses, Glen.
I agree with Glen on the smoking thing. And in general on most of the things he said, but not all.
I just got my Washington State license renewal notice.There's a $5 "donation" to state parks that I have to deduct from the total in order to avoid paying.This opt out gimmick was not a reasonable attempt to help people satisfy their actual preferences. It's a way to scam them out of money, and that's how I expect most uses of these techniques to be used.
I think the smoking argument unpacks back to the magical thinking about employment in general (a variation on the old and tired "just/fair prices")
Nazgulnarsil: Your comment makes no sense to me. What are you saying? What are you talking about?
I believe nazgulnarsil is saying that many people seem to think of employment as a kind of magic box: we can just ask employers to provide all kinds of things -- from higher wages to better benefits to better working conditions -- without any real trade-offs. This is magical thinking because in reality, there are always trade-offs. Higher benefits typically mean lower wages, for instance. Inasmuch as smoking bans constitute an improvement in work conditions, they presumably also have a downside in terms of reduced wages or other benefits. In a sense, the law is forcing bar and restaurant employees to buy something (better working conditions) even though they might prefer to have the money instead.
And thanks for the compliments on the Cato Unbound responses, everyone.
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