• Douglas MacKay
2019
The Journal of Political Philosophy
Full article

Much of the discussion concerning the permissibility of government paternalism has focused on laws and policies that either (1) ban or mandate the use or purchase of particular products;1 or (2) structure choice contexts to “nudge” people to make one choice rather than another.2 Examples of the former include existing laws that mandate the use of seatbelts or ban the possession of marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, as well as proposed laws to ban cigarettes or prohibit the purchase of sugar‐sweetened beverages over 16 fl. oz (US). An example of the latter includes opt‐out retirement savings plans which make the “best” choice the default choice, thus taking advantage of people’s status quo bias.