The White House’s “Nudge Squad”

FOX News reported on Tuesday that the government has created a “Behavioral Insights Team,” which is intended to influence the behavior of Americans. It is being referred to as a “nudge” because the team’s approach has been dubbed “subtle.” One can only assume that such “nudges” are intended to be the second part of a governmental, one-two punch, the first being ham-fisted executive orders. The first forces compliance; the second is designed to mesmerize one into voluntary acquiescence. The program isn’t in planning stages. It has already been implemented. FOX reports: “…the White House is already working on such projects with almost a dozen federal departments and agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture.” 

The government release touts the advantages of the program:

Behavioral sciences can be used to help design public policies that work better, cost less, and help people to achieve their goals…the (Behavioral Insights) team would “experiment” with various techniques, with the goal of tweaking behavior so people do everything from saving more for retirement to saving more in energy costs. Anyone interested in working for the White House in a “nudge” squad? The UK has one and it’s been extraordinarily successful.

The program cites benign examples of its intentions. But White House inspired behavioral modification experimentation won’t stop at cajoling us to save more for our old age. It is less about helping people achieve their goals than it is to help The Lyin’ King’s regime to achieve its goals.

In this, the British government was far more honest. Quoting from the U.K.report: “In 2010, UK Prime Minister David Cameron commissioned the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), which through a process of rapid, iterative experimentation (“Test, Learn, Adapt”), has successfully identified and tested interventions that will further advance priorities of the British government, while saving the government at least £1 billion within the next five years…”

Among the U.K.’s concerns were to get tax payers to fork over 30 million pounds of extra tax payments, which they did in three months. They also successfully convinced the public to take advantage of full-cost, government attic-clearance services. The British government realized a 500% increase in the purchase of their services and of attic-insulation. Evidence exists that the Lyin’ King’s power-hungry regime wouldn’t stop there.

About the author: Marilyn Assenheim

Marilyn Assenheim was born and raised in New York City. She spent a career in healthcare management although she probably should have been a casting director. Or a cowboy. A serious devotee of history and politics, Marilyn currently lives in the NYC metropolitan area.

View all articles by Marilyn Assenheim

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