Book review time.

I have just finished reading the book “Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness” by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein. It is about how the presenter of choices influences the choices by how they are presented. The first example is a buffet line. It is intuitive that putting salads and vegetables first and desserts last will generally result in people making heathier choices. They then go through a series of choice packages of increasing complexity up to Medicare part D and selecting a retirement plan offered by your employer.

Much of the information is useful and informative, but when they start talking about the ethics, philosophy, and politics of it all, I believe their thinking reflects a republicanism of forty years ago and isn’t inline with current needs. Their thinking on climate change, for a book written in 2008, is distressing. I also disagree with their approach to education.

Despite the usefulness of the information in the book, I hesitate to recommend it due to the flaws it contains. I would hate to see anyone influenced by this. Just my opinion.

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