Will Wilkinson (good alliterative name) of the CATO Institute writes a poignant article on the topic of Neuroeconomics. It suggests that a Paternalistic System would correct irrational behaviour of individuals at little cost to rational actors, and therefore significantly increase social welfare. He cogently argues that despite the scientific evidence, a laissez-faire approach is still preferable given the technology and political structures which exist. I believe Wilkinson is correct, but I am open to the possibility that continued improvement of technology will enable changes in human organisational structure and physiological monitoring such that laissez-faire will no longer be a social optimum.
This came to me via Tyler Cowen's reaction to Hare's work on psychopathy upon which I have commented. This controversial post is also relevant.