New Paternalism on the Slippery Slopes, Part 6: Rent Seekers

by Glen Whitman As discussed in the previous post, the “experts” in charge of implementing new paternalist policies will have a tendency to simplify their own theories to make them useful for crafting policy. That alone creates slippery-slope potential. But that potential is magnified by the existence of rent-seekers – that is, interest groups whose … Continue reading New Paternalism on the Slippery Slopes, Part 6: Rent Seekers

New Paternalism on the Slippery Slopes, Part 3: Hyperbolic Discounting

by Glen Whitman New paternalists often rely on the phenomenon of “hyperbolic discounting” to justify their policies. Hyperbolic discounting is difficult to define in a non-mathematical way. It is sometimes summarized as excessive impatience, but that’s an over-simplification. A person with a high-but-consistent rate of time discounting would not be a hyperbolic discounter. What hyperbolic … Continue reading New Paternalism on the Slippery Slopes, Part 3: Hyperbolic Discounting

New Paternalism on the Slippery Slopes, Part 2: How New Paternalism Creates Gradients

by Glen Whitman A key conclusion of the literature on slippery slopes is that they are especially likely in the presence of gradients -- meaning situations in which there is a relatively smooth continuum from one policy to another, and in which it is difficult to draw sharp distinctions. Gradients don’t guarantee slippery slope events, … Continue reading New Paternalism on the Slippery Slopes, Part 2: How New Paternalism Creates Gradients

New Paternalism on the Slippery Slopes, Part 1

by Glen Whitman As Mario has already announced, we've just published a new article, "Little Brother Is Watching You: New Paternalism on the Slippery Slopes," in Arizona Law Review. You can find the full text here. The article is quite long. As a result, I expect few people will read the whole thing. I've therefore … Continue reading New Paternalism on the Slippery Slopes, Part 1