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It's just been over three months since my last post and it took me going to a movie called The Adjustment Bureau to inspire me to write a new post. Let me explain why.
Here is the synopsis of the movie according to http://www.imdb.com/: "Do we control our destiny, or do unseen forces manipulate us? Matt Damon stars in the thriller The Adjustment Bureau as a man who glimpses the future Fate has planned for him and realizes he wants something else. To get it, he must pursue the only woman he's ever loved across, under and through the streets of modern-day New York. On the brink of winning a seat in the U.S. Senate, ambitious politician David Norris (Damon) meets beautiful contemporary ballet dancer Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt)-a woman like none he's ever known. But just as he realizes he's falling for her, mysterious men conspire to keep the two apart. David learns he is up against the agents of Fate itself-the men of The Adjustment Bureau-who will do everything in their considerable power to prevent David and Elise from being together. In the face of overwhelming odds, he must either let her go and accept a predetermined path... Written by Universal Pictures"
This "bureau" basically nudges individuals on a path that has already been written by the Chairman. If these nudges don't work sometimes it turns into shoves. If shoves don't work then the bureau makes you do it without really giving you a choice.
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Right off the bat, this movie reminded me of Cass Sunstein, Obama's Regulatory Czar, and his book Nudge. In it he talks about how through regulation you can manipulate people in making decisions. It gives them the illision of free will and making their own choices, but someone else is actually pulling the strings and guiding them on a path that maybe, just maybe they wouldn't normally take.
For example, if Cass wanted to ban guns...there would be no way Congress would ever pass a law that goes against our Constitutional right, but he could put in place new regualation that it would make it more difficult to be a gun owner like increasing license fees, more paperwork, etc. So Obama's the Chairman and Sunstein is head of the Adjustment Bureau manipulating our choices and what they think is right. The movie, unlike the Obama administration does have a happy ending.
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