I just don’t get it

Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“This morning I was interviewed by my friend Ross Kaminsky on his radio show in Colorado. The subject was behavioral economics. (Richard Thaler, a renowned and respected behavioral economist, is the 2017 Nobel laureate in Economics.) I find much of Thaler’s work — and behavioral economics more generally — to be interesting. I confess, however, that behavioral economics does not ‘grab’ me in the way that it grabs many other economists and social scientists. I could here list the specific objections and reservations I have about behavioral economics, none having to do with the veracity of its particular findings. But I’ll not do so. I want here simply to note that the foundational motivation that seems to me to drive behavioral economists — and to drive those who are most enthusiastic about the findings of behavioral economics — is a motivation that is completely foreign to me. That motivation, as I sense it, is the desire to interfere in the lives of strangers in order to improve the lives of strangers.” (10/11/17)