Leave it to a legal scholar to ask: Is a stigma a tax? If so, can government act legitimately to remove that stigma?
To legal scholar Cass Sunstein, the answer is yes. Certain social norms, Sunstein explains, such as wearing a seatbelt in Hungary or carrying a gun in Sunstein’s neighborhood, act as taxes on particular behaviors. Norms that encourage certain behaviors are, analogously, subsidies.More