Gov't Knows Best? White House creates 'nudge squad' to shape behavior
Big Brother isn't only watching you via creepy domestic drones — he's also trying to influence your behavior. The Behavioral Insights Team, or, affectionately, the "nudge squad" is a White House experiment in finding subtle ways to get citizens to change their behavior. It will tackle problems such as getting people to conserve energy or save for retirement. Proponents of the initiative, based partly on the 2008 book "Nudge" by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler, praise it for using gentle encouragement rather than regulations and restrictions to control behavior. Critics, however, say the government shouldn’t assume it knows what's best for its people.