New York Times Adds Green Fascism To Behavioral Economics Stew
April 20, 2009 • 11:24AM

Following the Time and Fox News promotions of "behavioral economics" as the governing kookery of the Obama Administration and (they say) the entire economics profession, today the New York Times adds "environmental decision economics" to this theater of the absurd. The Times devotes its entire Sunday magazine, under the lurid title of "The Green Mind," with equally lurid illustrations, to the work of the Centers for Research on Economic Decisions (CRED) at Columbia and Yale universities. These centers are funded by the National Science Foundation to use the behavioral economics doctrines founded by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, to figure out how to get Americans to accept drastic changes in their living standards now, for "environmental benefits in the future."

Sparing the many pages of absurd "choices," "framings," and "nudges" discussed and compared, suffice to say that the problem of these behavioral "economists" and their sponsors is that Americans do not accept climate change paranoia. Note that a Pew Research poll at the time of President Obama's inauguration put climate change 20th, and last, on Americans' list of serious concerns. Other surveys show that more think climate change "science" is highly exaggerated, than thought so 11 years ago. Nonetheless, the EPA has just hit them with a ruling that carbon dioxide (breathing!) is a public health danger, with fines and regulations ("cap-and-trade") to follow. This, in behavioralist speak, is called "framing." Next, comes "nudging," including trying to get people to "choose" a carbon tax law (the Prince Charles/Al Gore objective, adopted by the Obama Administration) as preferable to further EPA fines and anti-breathing dictates.

The CRED types purport to find that groups can be nudged to accept such devastating attacks on the industrial economy, more readily than individuals thinking for themselves—and other such irrational nonsense. The bottom line of the five featured articles in the package, is that this is what economics now consists of, in an era of scarcity and depression. The Times has promoted it many times before—but now what it is promoting has seized control of the White House.