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Publisher's Summary

How we became so burdened by red tape and unnecessary paperwork, and why we must do better.

We've all had to fight our way through administrative sludge-filling out complicated online forms, mailing in paperwork, standing in line at the motor vehicle registry. This kind of red tape is a nuisance, but, as Cass Sunstein shows in Sludge, it can also also impair health, reduce growth, entrench poverty, and exacerbate inequality. Confronted by sludge, people just give up-and lose a promised outcome: a visa, a job, a permit, an educational opportunity, necessary medical help. In this lively and entertaining look at the terribleness of sludge, Sunstein explains what we can do to reduce it.

Because of sludge, Sunstein, explains, too many people don't receive benefits to which they are entitled. Sludge even prevents many people from exercising their constitutional rights-when, for example, barriers to voting in an election are too high. Sunstein takes listeners on a tour of the not-so-wonderful world of sludge, describes justifications for certain kinds of sludge, and proposes "Sludge Audits" as a way to measure the effects of sludge. On balance, Sunstein argues, sludge infringes on human dignity, making people feel that their time and even their lives don't matter. We must do better.

©2021 Cass R. Sunstein (P)2022 Tantor

What listeners say about Sludge

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Just read nudge

This adds nothing more to nudge and is rather a 3-4 hour long opinion piece about a few examples of sludge with hyper focus on a narrow few. Overall the book had much more potential than it actually achieved.

Not bad but just read nudge over sludge