Perhaps at root, some elected officials, bureaucrats, and armchair analysts consult with sociologists, economists, and mathematicians to consider how human behavior might be influenced in a desired manner—say for creating a coveted public good that otherwise might not materialize. For example:
- Want homeowners to buy more expensive, but energy-efficient appliances? Tax credit!
- Want drivers to get rid of their “gas guzzlers” and buy more expensive, but more environmentally-sound hybrid automobiles? Tax credit or “cash for clunkers!”
- Want first-time homebuyers to be able to buy that home and try to live the “American Dream?” Tax credit!