Posts Tagged ‘Nudge’
March 31st, 2010 at 1:21 pm
Governor Chris Christie Nudging New Jersey in the Right Direction

In their widely read book Nudge, authors Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler discuss the benefits of setting up policies in order to prod people towards making a certain decision.  For example, instead of installing an employee retirement program that requires workers to opt-in for contributions, make it so that they must opt-out.  Most people won’t know the difference until they get ready to retire and see each paycheck’s contribution matured into a nice nest egg thanks to the rule of 72.

Perhaps the lesson is emanating from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s new budget proposal.  The Manhattan Institute’s Josh Barro describes one of its pillars as capping local property taxes, but allowing local citizens to override the cap through targeted referendums.  Basically, if local officials can make a case for why they need more money, the people can give it to them.  The default option, though, is a hard cap.  Measures like Christie’s get the flow of political power right because it ensures We the People get the first and final say on tax rates.   If this is nudging, let’s push for more of it!