That is the reality of much of life. Advertising sells the lie of choice when it is actually selling a person dissatisfaction with their state of compliance with societal norms. Economics as taught at present says we are all free to choose when that is absurdly and obviously wrong. And Nudge offers the appearance of choice whilst saying its really only exercised at the very margins of service supply.
In which case let’s be honest. Let’s say in this complex modern world some things can’t be done with choice on the agenda. There is room for only one health service if we want a truly excellent one – as the contrast of the UK’s NHS with the US debacle proves only too clearly. There is room for only one education system if all children are to get access to excellence. We can only have one police force in an area, one fire service, one provider of refuse services – and only one regulator of an activity if it is to be done properly.
Of course we can have choice on a great many issues. Many consumer goods, despite their obvious similarities in many cases, can be offered in a bewildering variety of options if that does not result in waste (a big proviso, I might add). And, for example, there is no reason why the country cannot support the vast number of market based service organisations it enjoys without apparent problem of any sort. That’s all fine.
But let’s not pretend one size fits all – and that we can choose on everything. We can’t. We don’t even want to. And if we did we’d probably get it wrong. So it’s up to the state to do the most complex things – to take the stress of these decisions away from us – but to then supply these services at an excellent standard.
Choice is bad m\’kay?
Don\’t worry your pretty little heads about it, let the bureaucrats do it all for you.