Libertarian Paternalism: Leviathan in Sheep’s Clothing?

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Authors
Henderson, David R.
Subjects
libertarian
paternalism
Sunstein
Thaler
Hayek
Social Security
Advisors
Date of Issue
2014
Date
Publisher
Language
Abstract
Contrary to the views of some libertarians, “libertarian paternalism” is not an oxymoron. But are its twomost prominent advocates, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, really libertarian paternalists or are they paternalists in sheep’s clothing? Thaler seems to be somewhat of a libertarian paternalist whereas Sunstein appears to be more of a straight coercive paternalist. But even Thaler passes up major chances to advocate reducing straight paternalism by making it more libertarian. Those who favor freedom should not reject the concept of libertarian paternalism altogether. Instead they should apply the concept more consistently than Thaler and Sunstein have doneand use it to push for a less coercive government. Indeed, the fact that government officials who plan our lives also have human foibles argues for less government, not true.
Type
Article
Description
The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12115-014-9775-0
Series/Report No
Department
Business & Public Policy (GSBPP)
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NPS Report Number
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Format
Citation
Soc (2014) 51:268–273, Symposium: The Scope and Reach of the Regulatory State
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This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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