Monday, August 05, 2013

Obama's "Nudge Squad"--Not A New Tactic

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In the President's pursuit to "remake America," he told his radio audience this past Saturday that fixing income disparity "must be Washington's highest priority." And that it is certainly his own top priority.

Redistribution. Socialism.

The President's former campaign staff has now been re-branded and is called "Organizing for Action". Organizing for Action has launched the new "Truth Team."

I'm wondering whose truth? Since truth is relative and evolving, whose truth will be advocated? How can we actually know the truth when everyone holds and creates their own truth in our relativistic, secular, progressive culture?

And to complete the remaking of America, the Obama administration has announced the formation of what his people call a "Behavioral Insights Team."

Behavioral insights team?

The administration says this team will subtly encourage certain behavior in our population that will be very helpful in getting people to do the right thing.

Former Obama regulatory czar Cass Sunstien and Chicago Booth School of Business professor Richard Thaler have long advocated this tactic in government and have written a book titled, "Nudge" about the subtle practice of "nudging" the public to make certain choices and decisions.

This practice was used by another leader in 1938.

The President has a pretty clear vision of what he wants America to become. A majority of those who voted in 2012 chose to follow him down the path to "re-make" America.

On his 100th day in office, he went to Missouri, where he had concluded his 2008 campaign and told the crowd, "The effort to 're-make' America is well underway."

Indeed it is, however, although it is a minority of those who voted, there are those who do not share his vision for our country. And resist in various ways.

Various methods are being used to help those who resist and dissent to "make better choices," to get with the program.

This past Saturday, the President re-affirmed his commitment to re-distributing the wealth in America. In his weekly radio address he said, "Even before our financial crises hit, we were living through a decade where a few at the top were doing better and better, while most families were working harder and harder to just get by."

Keep in mind President Obama has become a multi-millionaire during this same period of time.

He told his radio audience that "Washington has taken its eye off the ball" and has allowed "an endless parade of political posturing and phoney scandals to distract from growing our economy."

Phony scandals?

He says Washington must re-focus on re-distribution or equalizing the wealth and make it the top priority, because that is his top priority.

I thought President Obama's top priority was "equality" for homosexuals and transgenders.

So how is Mr. Obama advancing his vision to re-make America?

H has re-instituted his "Truth Team."

He used it during the 2008 and 2012 campaigns and now he has re-branded his campaign folks, calling them "Organizing for Action."

Late Thursday, Governor Deval Patrick announced the new effort, calling it a webpage staffed by "a dedicated group of supporters who want to push back against lies, myths and misunderstandings out there with cold, hard facts."

They are encouraging the nation to sign-up to get "the truth."

If there is no real or absolute truth or facts, how can they dispense it---cold, hard or otherwise.

They are also asking for a $5 donation.

However, it's the newly formed "Nudge Squad" that is perhaps most concerning and troublesome.

The federal government is presently recruiting and hiring people for what the administration calls the "Behavioral Insights Team."

The behavioral team will explore and execute ways to subtly influence choices and decisions by the public that will "make government and society more efficient."

While the program is still in its early stages, the government statement shows 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.

"Behavioral sciences can be used to help design public policies that work better, cost less, and help people to achieve their goals," reads the government document describing the program, which goes on to call for applicants to apply for positions on the team.

Based on the book, "Nudge," the program is referred to as the "Nudge Squad."

The team will be used to subtly modify and change the behavior of society and the culture.

And, of course, all for the benefit of the masses.

The Obama administration points out that England has been very successful with this tactic.

They say it has assisted in getting late tax filers to pay up, generating increased revenue for the government.

"The Team" also points to a success where the British government offered "an attic-clearance service (at full cost) to people" which led to "a five fold increase in the subsequent adoption of attic insulation."


This concept assumes a small group of people in government know better about choices than the individuals making them.

The Obama administration also claims there are some very real benefits from the "Nudge Program."

They say it "could increase the number of people registering as organ donors by making people decide when they apply for a drivers license."

The "Nudge Squad" is not a new idea.

It was used successfully in 1938.

Thaler and Sustein, in their book "Nudge," advocate the importance of "choice architects" to assist in the choices people make.

"Little things," they say "in the way a choice is presented can 'nudge' us in the desired direction of the 'choice architect.'"

An example.

Hitler was not opposed to taking baby steps---nudges---as he moved the culture toward his goals.

"Nudges" used by "choice architects" create an illusion of free choice, when in fact it is a "choice" of one chosen option over another chosen option, then celebrated as freedom.

Here is a powerful illustration of how Hitler used this same tactic. Look at this voting ballot from 1938. Notice the different sizes of the voting blanks and the "choices" offered the "voters."

This invokes the power of default and takes advantage of the lazy, uninformed citizens who are often fearful of making complex decisions.

This is how freedom and liberty are eroded and a culture and nation are destroyed.

This is also how individuals become "conformed to this world" rather than being "transformed by God's power."

I'm talking more about this on the radio live this morning at 9 AM, PDT and re-broadcast at 7:30 PM, PDT on ACN Radio Network, online, or by free phone app. Click here for links.

Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Informed. Be Active. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.