By Dom Nozzi
May 23, 2005
In America, “social engineering” (deliberately influencing the behavior of people to achieve a public objective) is always “un-America” and most be opposed at all costs. It is un-American to design communities or roads or regulations or prices to REDUCE consumption of energy, cars, sprawl areas, etc.
There is, on the other hand, a double-standard: It is REQUIRED and morally upstanding that we do everything we can to manipulate citizen behavior or purchases or consumption to INCREASE consumption of energy, cars, sprawl areas, etc.
Manipulation is good if used to have us consume more. It is bad if used to have us consume less.
And this is what we should expect in a market economy.
But is it sustainable?