This week President Obama signed a new executive order to “help” government be more accommodating to citizens. He plans to do this not through asking what people need, but by using behavioral data on citizens to help them understand what they really want.
Here’s the announcement…full of increasing government involvement in our lives…
An article at the Daily Caller points out the involvement of Cass Sunstein on this project. Cass is a full blown Marxist who Glenn Beck has been talking about for years as a major worry for being Obama’s “regulatory Czar.”
“The initiative draws on research from University of Chicago economist Richard Thaler and Harvard law school professor Cass Sunstein, who was also dubbed Obama’s regulatory czar. The two behavioral scientists argued in their 2008 book “Nudge” that government policies can be designed in a way that “nudges” citizens towards certain behaviors and choices.”
The desired choices almost always advance the goals of the federal government, though they are often couched as ways to cut overall program spending.
In its 2013 memo, which was reported by Fox News at the time, the White House openly admitted that the initiative involved behavioral experimentation.
“The program has already existed in an experimental form, but now Obama has formally established the federal “Social and Behavioral Sciences Team,” ordering them to to use psychology and experimental behavior data to make government more user-friendly.”
Thanks to JaKell Sullivan for pointing out these links and for this insightful commentary on Facebook.
The problem is two-fold:
1. The Federal Executive Branch is deciding what outcomes they want to achieve on political issues like: global warming, water use, electrical use, food choices, healthcare choices, education choices
2. Then, they are using our tax dollars to: pay researchers who will support their goals and use (and manipulate) research data to propagandize us.
The Federal Executive branch will use this power to control, not improve choice.
The Whitehouse’s Learning Registry claims they can now get “between websites” to “filter” the content that reaches teachers and children. This is pure information control.
Here’s the Whitehouse’s video talking about the Learning Registry:
Jenny Baker also replied with this quote from Bernay’s, the author of “Propaganda.”
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.” – Edward Bernays (“the father of public relations”), Propaganda, 1928 (note that Bernays’ book, Propaganda, begins with the above quote).
Why is this troubling? Where does the government obtain behavioral data on citizens? How are they getting it? Well we know one way is through the statewide longitudinal database systems they funded in each state and through SAGE tests by AIR, a behavioral research company. Why did Utah legislators pass a bill a few years back to include collecting behavioral data on students through computer adaptive testing (it has been removed now by a subsequent law but AIR still collects it)? What can you do when you know someone’s personality, values, beliefs, and behaviors? Manipulate them with propaganda designed to be most effective. Why else do you hire reams of psychologists to “help” citizens take advantage of government programs?