Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Quote of the Day...

... comes from Shuggy, as he tries to get to grips with "nudge" economics.
To avoid injury, people should not attempt to iron their clothes whilst still wearing them.

See, you were thinking of doing this but now you've been 'nudged' in the right direction. It's all very 'Big Society'. Think I'm getting the hang of it now. It's like the small society, only more stupid...

Naturally, he's referring to Richard Thaler's suggestion—accompanied, of course, with a not-so-veiled threat—that people should abandon rounds in favour of running a tab.
Richard Thaler, a professor at Chicago University, suggests that groups of three or more should set up a tab to be split at the end of the evening to stop each member of a party feeling obligated to buy a round for everyone.

Prof Thaler, a key adviser to the Prime Minister on behavioural economics or "nudge" policy, said of buying rounds: "It is just a tradition and it has this unintended consequence.

"So if I was giving advice, I would say if there were more than three of you I would run a tab. These are the kinds of things that policy makers and publicans should be thinking about."

Uh huh. Yep, it's "just a tradition" and we wouldn't want to hang on to any of those in this country, eh? Plus, as Shuggy also points out, only an American—and some of our more lippy doctors—would consider three pints to be "binge drinking".

Mind you, Thaler does make one useful point...
Prof Thaler questioned the usefulness of the minimum drinking age of 18. He suggested that some councils should see whether they could cut the legal age.

I quite agree: I think that people should be encouraged to drink in pubs from a much younger age—16 as a minimum, or lower when accompanied by a responsible adult.
"What are the limits on the abilities of councils to experiment? Could they raise or lower the drinking age?" he said.

Well, not as the law stands, no. And, if they did have the ability to change the law, the gits in local government would almost certainly raise the age rather than lower it. Because they're idiots.

So, given that Thaler's good suggestion is unlikely to come to pass, let us hope that his other suggestions are similarly ignored.
Prof Thaler is author of the book Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth And Happiness, which heavily influenced the Prime Minister in opposition.

Oh. Shit.


Anonymous said...

The first "Tab idea" would be very difficult to implement so naturally the knee jerk reaction from "the morons" in public health would be to make it illegal to buy more than one drink at a time ,some wingnut puritan arsehole has already suggested this.
Even the last bastion gastro pubs would wither away for ever.

Willie said...

"Heavily influenced the PM in opposition". Fuck me how is he able to cope with something serious like war? Maybe I answer my own question...

Willie said...

Maybe I don't. The answer maybe to stop anyone under the age of 50 from being a politician. By then they might have done something useful or if not they might have grown up a bit

Anonymous said...

We really are fucking doomed, aren't we? :(

Robin said...

It`s well known in the restaurant trade that sharing a bill at the end of an evening`s meal leads most people to up the portions of what they order .