Pocket Change

I went to a talk given by Swarthmore professor Barry Schwartz this evening, during which he discussed his work on the paradox of consumer choice. Namely: that we hate giving up the freedom to choose, but we are more successful at actually choosing and are more satisfied with that choice when we have fewer options. It was an extremely interesting snippet of a talk, but the one thing I thought of, which he didn't actually mention, is this:

If we want to really get people serious about climate change or even just care for the environment, we should have a sort of selective service that, instead of drafting people into the military, would require everyone to spend a period of time working at a waste management facility.

Marketplace efficiency shouts. We have to deliberately press mute if we want to hear a better story.

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