Cass Sunstein in Power

He’s a very smart fellow, generally pretty rational, but … wow … Cass Sunstein is really dedicated to the proposition that some people know better than others and should use force and violence to make the rest of us behave. Every year he comes up with a new set of arguments against individual liberty. Here’s my review of his book The Second Bill of Rights: FDR’s Unfinished Revolution and Why We Need It More than Ever: “Absolutism Redux.” That essay isn’t in my forthcoming book, Realizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History, and Practice, but Realizing Freedom offers a lot more pummeling of Sunstein’s ideas (and his other books).

I’ll be autographing copies at the upcoming Freedom Fest, where I’ll speak on “The Future of Freedom in America” and on “The Dangerous Consequences of FDR’s Four Freedoms Speech.” The book is being sold online and distributed by Laissez Faire Books.

One Response to “Cass Sunstein in Power”

  1. My favorite Sunstein quote is this one, from his paper “Overreaction to Fearsome Risks”: (with Richard Zeckhauser):

    Fearsome risks are those that stimulate strong emotional responses. Such risks, which usually involve high consequences, tend to have low probabilities, since life today is no longer nasty, brutish and short. In the face of a low-probability fearsome risk, people often exaggerate the benefits of preventive, risk-reducing, or ameliorative measures. In both personal life and politics, the result is damaging overreactions to risks. We offer evidence for the phenomenon of probability neglect, failing to distinguish between high and low-probability risks. Action bias is a likely result.

    As I wrote at the time: “Cass, will you please explain ‘action bias’ to the President and Congresssional leaders before they completely restructure the US economy in response to the current economic downturn?”

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