3 thoughts on “An unhealthy nudge”

  1. Posted 09/12/2010 at 11:52 | Permalink

    I entirely agree. Governments should be looking for areas where they could STOP interfering, not looking for more areas to get involved. Haven’t they got enough on their plates already?

    This Douglas-Jay-like fallacy that ‘the gentleman in Whitehall really does know better’ is now more than fifty years old and has surely been proved wrong on innumerable occasions since then.

    I saw Kenneth Clarke on television yesterday, and the notion that any government of which he is a senior minister could sensibly lay down the law on obesity is grotesque.

    Lord Salisbury was right: “No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you never should trust experts.”

  2. Posted 09/12/2010 at 14:37 | Permalink

    It seems the goverment’s nudges come with pointed elbows, delivered with the force of a steam hammer. It is the complete lack of scientific eveidence that sticks in the throat. The only medcial truism is that active smoking is bad for you. The junk science includes secondary smoking is a killer, the medical optimal consumption of alcohol is about 30-40 units a week and the longest living people are slightly tubby.

    The population are not fools and doctors and scientists may have major problems persuading us when something real comes along.

  3. Posted 10/12/2010 at 10:07 | Permalink

    And it is the same in the pensions field. Young people are going to be nudged into pensions through auto-enrolment. They are being nudged into the wrong choice in many situations as they will have debts on which they are paying higher interests rates than the returns they will earn on their savings. Ironically, this whole debate was sparked off by the government making illegal (in 1988) freely negotiated contracts of employment which allowed employers to compel membership of schemes. In other words, the government makes illegal the private, freely agreed nudge and replaces it with a government nudge which will lead to the wrong people being left in these schemes.

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