Link to article :A Nightmare of a Dream Team | The Weekly Standard
Is it possible that the people who run the Obama administration aren’t as smart as we’ve been led to believe?
IF WE SAVE OUR STIMULUS CASH, DO WE STILL GET CHEESE?
Stay with me here, seriously. I’m thinking now of the administration’s much-publicized devotion to behavioral economics. Not long after his election, Time magazine noted that Barack Obama had surrounded himself with a “dream team” of behavioral economists, outside-the-box envelope-pushers like Peter Orszag, who became the administration’s first head of the Office of Management and Budget, and Cass Sunstein, whom the president appointed as his “regulatory czar.”
Behavioral economics is très chic. All the coolest economists are into it. It partakes of the obsession with social science that has lately gripped the country’s smart people, who exhibit a grinding need to quantify human behavior so that it will become more predictable, describable, and controllable. To meet demand, a steady flow of “studies” in human behavior passes through the sluice gates of university departments of accounting, psychology, marketing, sociology, business, and of course economics. From these the behavioral economists build vast edifices of theory and now, thanks to President Obama, public policy too.