Maya Shankar, a White House adviser cultivating a team tasked with subtly influencing Americans’ behavior, previously worked closely with the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress, WND has learned.
Shankar compiled a document outlining her “Behavioral Insights Team,” explaining a “growing body of evidence suggests that insights from the social and behavioral sciences can be used to help design public policies that work better, cost less, and help people to achieve their goals.”
As FoxNews.com pointed out, policies aimed at altering a population’s attitude became known as “nudges” after the term was popularized by Obama’s controversial former regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein, who penned a 2008 book called “Nudge.”
While at Yale, Shankar founded and served as editor-in-chief of The Five, a magazine committed to social activism and social justice.
Shankar also was a member of the Student Advisory Board for Campus Progress, the campus wing of CAP.
A Time magazine article profiled the influence of Podesta’s Center for American Progress in the formation of the Obama administration, stating that “not since the Heritage Foundation helped guide Ronald Reagan’s transition in 1981 has a single outside group held so much sway.”
Its board includes Van Jones, Obama’s former “green jobs” czar, who resigned in September 2009 after it was exposed he founded a communist revolutionary organization.
Meanwhile, in 2006, after she was accepted to the Rhodes Scholar program, Shankar was profiled as one of Glamour magazine’s “Top Ten College Women.” She told Glamour her most ambitious job would be to work as a science adviser to the American president.
In 2006, Shankar described to the New Haven Register her coming of age as an activist: “Yale opened up for me a realization of the world of social justice. I had been to India before and witnessed poverty, but I never felt like an agent of change. At Yale, I saw a vibrant, activist community, and I wanted to be a part of it.”
Perhaps Shankar’s drive to achieve social justice is motivating her current project of cultivating a “nudge” team.
On increasing adoption of energy efficient measures, Shankar noted “offering an attic-clearance service (at full cost) to people led to a five-fold increase in their subsequent adoption of attic-insulation. Interestingly, providing additional government subsidies on attic insulation services had no such effect.”
However, Michael Thomas, an economist at Utah State University, told FoxNews.com he is skeptical of a U.S. government team promoting nudge policies.
And sometimes, he added, government actually promotes the wrong thing, FoxNews.com reported.