Nudge, Nudge: Richard Thaler talks to a New Democrat

Thaler: 'Evening, Sire!

New Democrat: [Stiffly.] Good evening.

Thaler: [Leans in.] Is, uh...is your goal deregulation? Know what I mean, know what I mean, nudge, nudge, know what I mean, say no more?

New Democrat: [Looks around nervously.] I, uh, I beg your pardon?

Thaler: [Still leaning in.] Your, uh, your base—does it know, eh, does it know, eh?

New Democrat: [Flustered.] Well, it sometimes “knows,” yes.

Thaler: Aaaaaaaah—I bet it does, I bet it does, say no more, say no more, know what I mean, nudge nudge?

New Democrat: [Confused.] I'm afraid I don't quite follow you.

Thaler: Follow me. Follow me. That's good, that's good! A nod's as good as a wink to a blind bat!

New Democrat: Are you, uh...are you selling something?

Thaler: Selling! *Very* good, *very* good! Eh? Eh? Eh? [Pause.] Ooooo, you’re wicked, eh? Wicked, eh? Oooo-hooo: say no *more*!

New Democrat: Well, I, uh....

Thaler: Does your, uh, does your class like your populace controlled, eh?

New Democrat: Um, it likes control, yes.

Thaler: I bet it does, I bet it does!

New Democrat: As a matter of fact we’re very fond of paternalism.

Thaler: Who isn't? Like games, eh? Knew you would. Like games, eh? 
You’ve, uh, been around a bit, been around?

New Democrat: I have power, yes. I went to Harvard. 

Thaler: [Pause.] SAY NO MORE! Harvard—say no more, say no more, say no more, Sire!

New Democrat: I wasn't going to.

Thaler: Oh! Well, never mind. [Leans in again.] Is your, uh, is your party interested in....manipulation, eh? “Manipulation, eh?” he asked him knowingly.

New Democrat: [Somewhat interested.] Manipulation?

Thaler: Nudge, nudge; grin, grin; wink, wink; nudge, nudge; say no more?

New Democrat: Tiny nudges, eh?

Thaler: They should be, they should be taken to be tiny. Subtle, you know—*subtle* manipulation?

New Democrat: [Losing interest.] No, no: I'm afraid we don't have room in the consultant budget.

Thaler: Oh. [Leeringly.] Still, wooooooaaaaah, eh? Mmmm-whoa-ho-ho, eh? Hohohohohoho, eh?

New Democrat: Look: are you insinuating something?

Thaler: [Taken aback.] Oh no, no, no!—yes.

New Democrat: Well?

Thaler: Well, you’re a man of power, Sire.

New Democrat: Yes.

Thaler: I mean, you’ve been around a bit, you know, like, you’ve, uh, done it, eh?

New Democrat: What do you mean?

Thaler: Well, I mean like...you’ve *exploited* people for power?

New Democrat: Yes.

Thaler: What’s it like?

Comments