Magazine article The Spectator

Ad Libs

Magazine article The Spectator

Ad Libs

Article excerpt

Sir: Rory Sutherland provides at least one reason why admen shouldn't be allowed to run the show ('Mad Men are taking over the world', 12 April): they believe too strongly that all behaviour boils down to choice and not constraint. They work in contexts where the choices of people are flexible, trivial and differ little in terms of personal cost, such as buying a bag of oven chips. This is not the norm in policy questions. Most people cannot choose the time they go to work or drop their children off at school, so trying to persuade them to drive an hour later is rather naive. Economists are better at recognising that people make choices under constraints, so perhaps there is a role for them yet in policy-making.

Helen Jackson Cambridge Sir: Rory Sutherland recommends solving contemporary social problems by paying a few hundred thousand pounds to various ad agencies at regular intervals instead of spending vast amounts on personnel and infrastructure to actually do the job. He's a bit late off the mark.

The Home Office long ago gave up on the notion of providing a police force that matched in any way the current volume of crime and petty disorder, the emergence of domestic terrorism, the decline in citizen participation in controlling bad behaviour in public places, and its own insatiable demands for statistics that devour police time with forms and with special departments to process them. Its Statutory Performance Indicators are heavily skewed in the direction of the public perception of the police, of confidence in the police, of satisfying the perceptions of minority groups of one kind or another, and of controlling the fear of crime, all to be monitored and processed at the expense of combating crime itself. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.