Bush's Vision for an Ownership Society

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photoPresident Bush wants to give people more choices about their future. He says more control will make us better off. Experts who study economics and human behavior say it depends.

People act against their own self interest. They break into cold sweats over too many choices and then do nothing. They make bad bets, overpay for things they don't really want, and don't save for the things they do.

The ideals of an ownership society appeal to many Americans. But when it comes down to the nuts and bolts of Bush's plan, we're not as sure we're ready to take the reins. Or that that's what we had in mind when we thought of more control.

Hear a discussion on how Bush's vision for an ownership society could be undercut by the sometimes irrational choices we make.


Aaron Bernstein, associate editor in the Washington Bureau for Business Week Magazine;

David Laibson, professor of economics at Harvard University. He has written extensively on saving for retirement.;

Elke Weber, professor of psychology and management at Columbia University. She is co-editor of "Risk Decision & Policy.";

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst and senior editor at the Atlantic Monthly magazine.

This program aired on February 23, 2005.


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