This is the Bit Team –
This is from the Time article –
When a White House adviser sent out an e-mail last month announcing that she was looking to hire social scientists to study human behavior and design public policy based on social experiments, right-wing critics were aghast: Barack Obama was going too far again.
The inspiration for Yale social scientist Maya Shankar’s team, she said in her note, is Britain. It’s in the Old World that the White House has gone looking for something new, calling a gang of consultants in the United Kingdom an inspiration. There, the so-called Behavioral Insights Team has taken a controversial philosophy and found solutions from lowering energy consumption to increasing tax collection.
The squad was established a mere three years ago, following Prime Minister David Cameron’s ascension to power. Referred to in Whitehall patois as the nudge unit, the team was inspired by the 2009 bestselling book, Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness by University of Chicago professor Richard Thaler and Harvard Law professor Cass Sunstein. Cameron’s political mandate was simple: influence British policies by constructing cheap, shrewd and local solutions to social problems across governmental agencies.
The nudge unit appears to have succeeded where one of its inspirations could not. During the first three years of the Obama administration, Sunstein led the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs where he was charged with approving every new regulation the government issued based on cost-benefit analysis. Sunstein has written that his efforts were hamstrung by a political climate suspicious of his ideas. Last year several important regulations were halted before the presidential election and Sunstein’s subsequent book, Simpler: The Future of Government describes the difficulty of new thinking into government. With an entire team to focus on streamlining costs and regulation across the government, the new team is aiming to improve on Sunstein’s record.
Simple social experiments circumvented difficult-to-pass legislation, altered peoples’ behavior and saved money.This is about changing minds and saving money...
Bridgette [Bridgette madrian], an expert on pension defaults, is also now interested in whether unnecessary and unpleasant end of life over-treatment could be reduced by encouraging people to make advance directives at key junctions in life, e.g. at 65 when they become entitled to medicare in the USA
- Bit Team.This all sounds very familiar and very ominous...
At work on both sides of the Pond to advance an economic solution to...?