U.S. Cracks Down on ‘Forced’ Insurance

That’s the headline in the Wall Street Journal, for this article (which may be behind the paywall).

For just a moment, my hopes soared: the US is going to crack down on Obamacare! Alas, no, the US instead is going to go after its competition in the “forced insurance” field:

A U.S. housing regulator is cracking down on a little-known practice that has hit millions of struggling borrowers with high-price homeowners’ insurance policies arranged by banks that benefit from the costly coverage.

(Sigh). The hypocrisy meter is pegging the needle.

Fascist Rationalizations

Via Instapundit, the ne plus ultra of blogs, comes this shiny chunk of schist from Assistant Professor Doctor Sarah Conly of Bowdoin College (tuition $58200 per year), where she is teaching two (2) courses this semester.

Allow me to summarize and rebut in two sentences.

We need paternalistic laws because we make mistakes because we have cognitive biases, such those towards optimism and towards the status quo.
Thank goodness our Dear Leaders are ready, willing, and able to set up laws for our own good; and that Dear Leaders don’t suffer from any cognitive biases, such as a bias towards their own expertise.

Researchers whose research tells us more about the researchers than anything else

Via Althouse, one of my must-read blogs, comes this story about research purporting to show that white Americans are motivated differently from Asian-Americans.

Piffle says I.

The study itself is fundamentally flawed. In no case were students asked to behave independently. They were all given a task by the researchers. If any question at all was answered, it was “how do we best trick people into doing what we want them to do?”

This is a very narrow subset of motivation, and may explain some of the discrepancies between cultures in this setting. Does one wish to manipulate Asian-Americans? Either approach will work. For white Americans, it would seem that cloaking the task in words suggesting independence is preferable.

This says precisely nothing about how people behave when left to their own devices. So, we see similar streaks of Independence and interdependence in both groups as they live their lives.

I submit that the study tells us more about the researchers than anything else. They seem unaware of the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Do I detect the sulfurous odor of Skinner?