LIBERTARIAN PATERNALISM: THE COCAINE VACCINE AS A TEST CASE FOR THE SUNSTEIN/THALER MODEL

Author: 

Professor Dru Stevenson

We make bad choices. We also make choices for other people. This seems to be an unfortunate pair of statements, and it would be just as unfortunate (or maybe worse) in the reverse: We make choices for other people. We make bad choices.

These two sentences are more palatable with some qualifiers. People do not always make bad or irrational choices; but neither do we always make optimal choices, even if we always try. We sometimes make bad choices. The word “sometimes” is helpful, because it is more precise, but not completely necessary from a grammatical or syntactical standpoint. “We make bad choices” can mean either that we always make bad choices, or that we usually do, or that we sometimes do – or even that we did so just once, but are likely to do so again. For the time being, it is helpful to keep this ambiguity afloat to illustrate a point. View More