Cass Sunstein is the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard Law School, where he is the founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy. He is by far the most cited law professor in the United States.
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o I strongly believe that the Second Amendment creates an individual right to possess and use guns for purposes of both hunting and self-defense.
o I think the arc of history is long, and it bends toward justice. And I think that’s what the ‘Star Wars’ message is. You know, the dark side is in the human heart. And chaos is very troubling for an individual or for a culture, which can lead you to authoritarian leaders. But the arc of history is on the right side. I believe that.
o I think it’s a very firm part of human nature that if you surround yourself with like-minded people, you’ll end up thinking more extreme versions of what you thought before. Cass Sunstein For business, government, and education, the lesson is clear: People ought to be relying far more on objective information and far less on interviews. They might even want to think about scaling back or cancelling interviews altogether. They’ll save a lot of time – and make better decisions.
o Today, we are announcing that agencies are releasing their final regulatory reform plans, including hundreds of initiatives that will reduce costs, simplify the system, and eliminate redundancy and inconsistency.
o It can be easy and tempting, especially during a presidential campaign, to listen only to opinions that mirror and fortify one’s own. That’s not ideal, because it eliminates learning and makes it impossible for people to understand what they dismiss as ‘the other side.’
o Many Americans abhor paternalism. They think that people should be able to go their own way, even if they end up in a ditch. When they run risks, even foolish ones, it isn’t anybody’s business that they do.o If I may discuss the idea of explosion. The number of regulations issued in the last two years is approximately the same as the number issued in the last two years of the Bush administration.
o When it imposes expensive regulatory mandates on the private sector, Congress often acts on the basis of interest-group pressures, anecdotes, and the emotions of the moment. The executive branch is hardly perfect, but it is far less likely to do that.
o The U.S. is supposed to be a nation of second chances, but for the 70 million Americans with a criminal record, we’re not doing such a great job. Even among those whose crimes were nonviolent and committed long ago, too many still bear a scarlet letter.
o If the prospect of a bad result gets the heart racing – a plane crash, a terrible disease, a loss of 30 percent of your portfolio – most people will take strong steps to avoid it. They will pay too little attention to a comforting thought, which is that worst-case scenarios usually don’t come to fruition.
o There is no proportional representation requirement in the Equal Protection Clause. Cass Sunstein This part of the 21st century is preoccupied with risk, and there’s a lot that law can do to make lives longer and healthier.
o Most problems are best solved privately, not through government. There’s a problem of discourtesy in the world, which is best handled through social norms, which are indispensable. But you wouldn’t want the government to be mandating courtesy.
o When I was an academic, I’d sometimes get a little feeling of excitement when I had an idea that was, I hoped, fresh. And whether anyone should act on that idea is a very different question.
o Behavioral scientists distinguish between fast thinking and slow thinking. Fast thinking is represented in the mind’s System 1: it is automatic, intuitive, and often emotional. Slow thinking, reflected in System 2, is deliberative and reflective; it likes statistics. It’s hard to think of a purer System 1 candidate than Donald Trump.
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