Obama’s New ‘Nudge Squad’ To Secretly Push You to Do His Bidding

President Obama has failed in many ways to get Americans to follow along with his giant government, Big Brother ways. So, instead of changing his policies to what you want, he’s investing your tax dollars into creating ways to “nudge” you into accepting his extreme policy ideas.

On Tuesday Fox News released a report that revealed Obama’s plan to use psychology and “behavioral insights” to cajole America into accepting his way of thinking.

“The federal government is hiring what it calls a ‘Behavioral Insights Team’ that will look for ways to subtly influence people’s behavior,” Fox reports.

The newser found that these “insights” teams are already fanning out across several government departments to help them fine-tune the message to fool Americans into thinking Obama’s ideas are just what we need to cure our nation’s ills (you know, the ones Obama caused in the first place).

“Behavioral sciences can be used to help design public policies that work better, cost less, and help people to achieve their goals,” reads the government document describing the program, which goes on to call for applicants to apply for positions on the team.

The document was emailed by Maya Shankar, a White House senior adviser on social and behavioral sciences, to a university professor with the request that it be distributed to people interested in joining the team. The idea is that the team would “experiment” with various techniques, with the goal of tweaking behavior so people do everything from saving more for retirement to saving more in energy costs.

Some of those Fox asked thought it sounded like a great idea. But others aren’t so sure.

“I am very skeptical of a team promoting nudge policies,” Michael Thomas, an economist at Utah State University, told FoxNews.com.

“Ultimately, nudging … assumes a small group of people in government know better about choices than the individuals making them.”

Well, of course it does. Thomas is 100% right. The problem with this policy is that it is not being used to “improve” government. It is being used to sell us on what government wants to do.

As Ronald Reagan said, the scariest words in the country are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

These “nudge squads” are “here to help” and they’ll promote all the wrong-headed policies that elitists like Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid want to further burden the country with.

Lastly, do we really want to sell government like its a commodity, like our politicians are ad salesmen trying to get us to buy a new breakfast cereal?

I know I don’t.

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Posted by on July 31, 2013.
Filed under Barack Obama, Big government, corruption, Culture Of Corruption, Democrats, Liberals.
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com and BigJournalism.com, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, RightPundits.com, StoptheACLU.com, Human Events Magazine, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events.He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions, EMAIL Warner Todd Huston: igcolonel .at. hotmail.com"The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it." --Samuel Johnson

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  • LiberalNightmare

    Can ‘re-education’ be far behind?

  • Lawrence Westlake

    Meh. Much ado about not too much. Obama’s target audience already is retarded; there’s not much to gain there. Obama’s core political base is hopeless and to a large extent already has gone senile or alternatively is so young they can’t walk into a Hertz and rent cars for themselves. Again, not much to gain there. Reading between the lines it woudn’t be at all shocking if Team Obama is doing this specifically to get conservatives’ goats. To rile them up. To distract them from next year’s election cycle, to the extent they care in the first instance. That sort of thing.

  • Commander_Chico

    Warner, can you be so ignorant to be unaware of former Obama advisor Cass Sunstein’s book, Nudge? I did not read it, but I gather from the reviews it advocates government persuasion for people to do things that are in the common benefit.

    You know, like this guy:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/21/Smokeybear1944.jpg/220px-Smokeybear1944.jpg

    • cirby

      Of course, “in the common benefit” turns out to be “whatever we think you should do, no matter what you might believe on the matter.”

      “Nudges” only last for one election cycle, then they turn into “they’re not buying it? Screw it, we’ll just nudge them by making things illegal.” Large soft drinks, for example.

      • Commander_Chico

        In the big scheme of things, this does not mean much. It is “Smokey the Bear” or “Woodsy Owl.”

        Warner’s writing about this crap, but has no balls to write about NSA spying, which is much more of a threat to liberty than any “nudge” team.

        http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_MEDIA/fsm9_002047.gif

        • cirby

          Smokey and Woodsy weren’t “nudges” – they were flat-out information campaigns to remind people to do things they already knew they shouldn’t. They were simple, had plain messages, and weren’t designed to do anything outside of the basic message.

          The “nudge” team, as described in their own literature, is a classic propaganda organization. Yes, they use marketing-speak, but it’s honestly just propaganda that’s designed to promote one agenda.

          You can bet, when they “create public policies that will work better,” that they’re not going to actually change any Democrat-favorite ones – they’re just going to find new ways to try and make people believe in the ones that are so painfully flawed that nobody will buy into them. Like “Obamacare is going to be cheaper (if you use the cheapest O-care plan and compare it to a high end plan from private insurance)”.

          For that matter, I’m sure they’re going to try and do the “this Republican plan would be great, if we left out the parts that Republicans like” thing.

          The fun part will be watching the various lefty fans of the program all use the same two or three images over the next few weeks, because they’re the same ones that the “Nudge Squad” is feeding them through the usual sources. The good news is that we already know that they’re going to try and use Smokey and Woodsy…

          • jim_m

            Chico’s idea of a nudge campaign is trains of boxcars taking you to concentration camps.

          • http://www.traveLightgame.com/ ljcarolyne

            Sounds about right. The Regime is Hitler made over, only worse. Let me give you a nudge (shove) . . .it won’t work. Hitler failed and died for trying such, so give it up you bastards. The Regime is on thin ice that has already cracked. We The People are sick of the whole bunch, BTW.

          • Commander_Chico

            Do you know exactly what this “nudge team” is going to promote? Until they start selling abortion or homosexuality, maybe you should calm down. Maybe they’ll just promote picking up litter or eating more vegetables.

            Marketing is propaganda (the Portuguese word for advertising) is an “information campaign.” You are dealing in sophistry. Propaganda is defined as a marketing campaign you don’t like. “Strategic communications” is another euphemism for propaganda, as is “public relations.”

            In the end, it’s all the same stuff dreamed up by Edward Bernays years ago.

          • cirby

            In other words, you think we should give the Obama administration the benefit of the doubt on this, because they’ve been so honest and forthcoming about every other scheme they’ve thrown our way so far.

            That it’s just another “phony scandal?”

            Sorry, not buying it.

            No, marketing and propaganda are not the same thing. The biggest difference is that marketing is aimed towards commercial products, while propaganda is aimed toward political manipulation. I know the left wants them to be the same thing – it makes their propaganda seem less harmful and dishonest – but it really isn’t.

            I see, for example, that you hit Wikipedia in search of a “harmless” definition for propaganda – that “it’s the same in Portugese” line is a dead giveaway. You missed, however, the difference between “overt propaganda” (advertising, in your world) and “covert propaganda” (what the Obama folks keep using, through their cooperation with the press and programs like these).

          • Commander_Chico

            I can speak Portuguese and have seen TV commercials in Brazil labeled as “propaganda,” so the connection was natural to make.

            Accepting your definition of propaganda as being aimed to political manipulation, then all government speech, all of the “public affairs” departments in government, is propaganda. Of course they are trying to manipulate the masses. Even Smokey the Bear is propaganda, because it attempts to show that the government cares about forests in the lovable form of a bear.

            Bernays’s 1928 book was entitled Propaganda. Laid it all out.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda_(book)

            When government people speak off the record or “on background” or selectively leak classified material, it’s a form of covert propaganda, yes.

            None of this is new.

          • cirby

            Except that what you’re citing is very, very outdated – and inaccurately selective.

            It doesn’t matter at all that “propaganda” and “advertising” mean the same thing in Portugese. “Pravda” means the same as “truth” in Russian, and we know how well that worked out.

            “Propaganda” has changed in meaning – a lot – since the 1920s, mostly due the the heavy use of military and political propaganda during World Wars I and II.

            Bernays, the author of the book you cite, is a pretty good example of how NOT to do advertising – but is a great example of how to do government propaganda. He firmly believed that the masses were not to be trusted to make decisions, and the the government and the “enlightened” types should manipulate the public into making the “right” decisions.

            He was extremely influential in the development of “public relations” as a career field, but helped codify the very worst things about it. He helped define the difference between “advertising” (convincing someone to buy a product because of its good qualities) and “public relations” (buying a product because “4 out of 5 doctors” on the company’s payroll approved, or because an invented group recommended it). He was also the pioneer of getting popular celebrities to endorse political candidates. We all know how well that worked out…

            In other words, “advertising” and “propaganda,” despite what the anti-capitalists want you to believe, are not the same thing. At least, in English.

          • jim_m

            Oh, Chico arguing from a position of total dishonesty, what a shock.

        • LiberalNightmare

          Warner’s writing about this crap, but has no balls to write about NSA spying, which is much more of a threat to liberty than any “nudge” team.
          <<

          I went to cmdr_chico.com to see what you thought about it and discovered that you need your own blog.

          • warnertoddhuston

            What amuses me is that he thinks that what I post here is the only things I write. He doesn’t seem to have a clue that I write dozens of other places.

          • Commander_Chico

            OK, I looked and saw you wrote some things on NSA back in June on Breitbart. Kind of weak, but something.

    • warnertoddhuston

      Insert rolling eyes smiley here.

      • Commander_Chico

        By the way, “children” in the graphic you used for this article is misspelled.

    • Constitution First

      Like telling students to tell the teacher if their parents own guns?
      That kind of Progressive thinking gets ugly real fast.

  • Dennis Hibbard

    1 Peter 5:7-9 Christian Defense

    King James Version (KJV)

    7 Casting all your care upon HYH him; for he careth for you.

    8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

    9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

    • Walter_Cronanty

      Translated from the King Obama Version, it reads:
      7 Cast all your cash upon Him; for He makes you poverty stricken and dependent.
      8 Be sober, vigilant; because your adversary the conservative/libertarian, as a roaring demon, walketh about, seeking babies and puppies he may devour:
      9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith in big government, knowing that the same misery is painstakingly and equally distributed in your brethren that are in the U.S. [except for the ruling elites, of course].

      • http://www.traveLightgame.com/ ljcarolyne

        NO NO NO! I’ve never seen the Righteous (in Christ) forsaken or his seed begging bread. The Regime is NOT going to win.

    • http://www.traveLightgame.com/ ljcarolyne

      GREAT! Put on the whole armor of God. Rebuke the devil and he will flee.

  • Commander_Chico

    Singapore moving company? Sorry, I left more than a month ago.

    I guess my presence here is bringing a higher quality of spam.

  • SicSemperTyrannis

    God obama is a creep.