In recent years, we have seen a dramatic shift towards right-wing economic theories in the US by both major political parties. The economic right prefers free markets, limited government intervention, private enterprise, large business, personal property, and oppose public works. However, this trend has hit a turning point where people are giving more support for left-wing economic policy in response to massive wealth inequality, political and social disparity, police infringement on rights, and institutional inequities. Left-wing economies prefer public works and infrastructure as a means of boosting development and promoting public health, which is typically achieved through wealth distribution.
One emerging set of actions which might be taken by the government is "nudging" popularized by Richard Thaler which is to set soft policies and construct systems to encourage people to take actions that are in their own best interest without necessarily forcing them to do anything. These policies are based on behavioral economics, which demonstrate that the rational economies championed by previous theories are insufficient to explain certain conditions in the markets that would otherwise be considered irrational. The irrational behaviors are caused by quirks in human psychology, and include things like loss-aversion and taking increased situational risk. Nudging doesn't involve any kind of mandate, such that the things that it suggests are not required in any way.
Examples include putting subtle emotional language in letters, for example "Most people pay there taxes on time" or "Only a minority of people fail to pay their taxes" can boost compliance by making people feel left out and has virtually no overhead cost, since the letters are being sent anyways.
Another example of nudging would be to give organ donation automatic enrollment, for which individuals would be given the option to opt-out. In this way if someone doesn't want to be an organ donor they still have the option so there freedoms are not violated, but most people are lazy and if they have to take action to opt out they will not do it.
There are also simple design choices that can greatly influence people's behavior. For example, placing signs around dog parks showing how much waste must be cleaned up per year can encourage pet owners to clean up Fido's messes, instead of putting signs which directly ask people to do so. The idea is to tap into people's guilt to try and convince them to comply with city ordinances, without physical coercing people to do anything.
It is possible that nudging could be used to promote economic growth by encouraging entrepreneurship, or promote peace and civility through intentional design choices and subtle action.
Opponents of nudging complain that nudging is manipulative and coercive, and insist that libertarian paternalism is an oxymoron. Since nudging is a relatively new set of ideas, it has yet to be shown how effective it is, or if it can enable government overreach by subtly changing public opinion.
Should nudging be utilized by governments to encourage it's citizens to make smart choices without necessarily forcing them, or should we reject behavioral sciences in public policy?
At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation,
Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root.
Through a long process of evolution this life developed into the human race.
Humans conquered fire, built complex societies and advanced technology .
All of that so we can argue about nothing.