In a genuine effort to be more objective I actually viewed a Glenn Beck(GB) piece on Edward Bernays(The Engineereing of Consent). As a sometime student of Bernays, Beck, aroused my curiosity. I found his factual discussion of Bernays, the reputed father of PR, quite accurate. Whether or not Bernays was the sole cause of female smoking, I do not know. I am a little skeptical, too, that Bernays invented bacon and eggs for breakfast as the result of his PR campaign for a bacon company. I think the English have been eating meat for breakfast for quite awhile.
The tenuous use of analogy as logical argument is again proved when GB claims that Obamacare amounts to a grand, Bernaysian conspiracy to engineer consent of the public. Certainly the human desire for “security” which GB points out is one of the passionate drivers of human behavior — like sex and aggression. I assume that the same drive also sends people to Blue Cross, Blue Shield and United Health Care. And, if Romney wins, to Vouchercare.
The choice of health insurance has everything to do with necessity and cost and therefore falls in the area of neoclassic economics of good old profit and loss which I assume GB feels is under attack by the behaviorists, paternalists and keepers of the nanny state. Most of us try to be logical about the purchase of coverage. We do not buy an insurance policy because some bikini-clad babe or muscle-bound hunk turns us on. Sex doesn’t sell health care; Cialis sure, but health care, no.
Isn’t it possible that the behaviorist school of economists at the University of Chicago simply evolved from the death of Milton Friedman’s supply side school. Time to move on and find out what truly lies behind our new structural economic problems — because a lot of old times ain’t comin’ back. Truth is, no one knows what the next economy is — for sure.
Steadfast and cautious,
David Milliken, thetortoisefactor.com