The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies

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Racialist demagogues like Al Sharpton have only helped to stunt their communities; the last thing anyone needs is a white Al Sharpton in other words, a Trump. You may be better eating your strawberries, but the whites who compete with cheaper labour, the white middle class paying for more services to support masses of immigrants, deal with crime, etc, etc, is not better off.


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What Al Sharpton and most black leaders demonstrate, including Hispanic and Jewish leaders, is a predilection to promote the interests of their group, while expecting Whites to play only individualist strategies. And there is no denying that only Whites have a stronger disposition to act apart from groups in the name of universal ideals. Europeans, particularly Northern Europeans, are the least collectivist of all peoples, which is leading to their colonization by hordes of aggressive-collectivist Muslims. Trump is expressing, implicitly, White identity. Please try to make correct attributions when quoting other commenters in the thread.

Email the webmaster econlib. A valid email address is required to post comments on EconLog and EconTalk. Yes, political externalities work both ways. I am an out atheist, and there are many countries in the world where it would be illegal to express my views — and 13 of them would execute me for it. So forgive me if I fear immigration by people who would have me killed. Calm your fears.


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Economists mere social scientists, remember , are not entirely innocent of developing and promulgating this false belief. If only people were widgets, then they might be on to something. After all, better to be on the outskirts of the Inner Party s than risk being cast adrift, right?

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Also, in my field, most of the people I compete with for jobs are white or Asian. Cheap immigrant labor increases my purchasing power. An influx of educated European immigrants, on the other hand, might reduce my wages. A country full of collectivists belonging to different warring collectives is not a recipe for a prosperous or harmonious or free society. Do you prefer it to the status quo? Those states in Europe possessing a high degree of ethnic homogeneity, where ancestors had lived for generations — England, France, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark — were the ones with the strongest liberal traits, constitutions and institutions.

On the other hand, those states or empires like the Austro-Hungarian Empire composed of multiple ethnic groups were the ones enraptured by illiberal forms of ethnic nationalism and intense rivalries over identities and political boundaries. This is fascinating and a bit strange to see a passionate defender of the middle of the road. My thought is that when giant obstructions block the road, one must choose to swerve left or right sadly up or down does not seem to be a political option.

This was an interesting article to read for the comments as well. It used to be that you could read William F. From that point of view one can at least better define the issues. Sanders too is not great on immigration or war.

The Myth of the Rational Voter

He derided open boarders as a Koch idea and he proposed supporting a Sunni Muslim collision in Syria. He is also very much against trade with foreigners and rails against jobs lost due to international trade. One more thing since the most important issues to me are literal war and the drug war I must consider Trump. Trump is less likely to bomb or put troops in Syria and more likely to end the war on drugs. Behavioral Economics and Rationality, Political Economy.

Myth of the Rational Voter My thoughts: 1.

Myth of the Rational Voter 2016

Finally, if one wants to seem honest there is a very good way to do it: 1- be convinced of what he says; 2- be emotionally attached to what he says. The problem is, as pointed out in the video, if one is emotionally attached to an idea it is very dangerous to be rational about it. Thus the more convincing is he who is deeply convinced and attached himself.

It makes sense of why rational people would abstain from voting. There decision will mean little to nothing.


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    Myth of the Rational Voter. Public Choice [Audio]: Ben Powell discusses the implications of applying economics analysis to the political process. Well, it does. In any field rational arguments are improved as they are presented in a simpler version, i. Eventually the majority of the followers will imitate economists ideas simply because they will be the prevailing ones.

    After all, democracy is based on a miracle: the miracle of aggregation. Essentially, this refers to the phenomenon that an average answer given by a group tends to be correct. So, if you ask some people to estimate how many beans are in a glass, some will guess too high and some too low. But when you average out their answers, the deviation in either direction will balance out, making the average very close to the correct number.

    But, interestingly enough, the divergent opinions of a large group of voters will average out to close to what is true.

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    So, in a democracy, uninformed or extreme positions tend to nullify one another, leading to a more informed and moderate result. In a perfect democracy, popular ideas prevail while extreme viewpoints cancel each other out because of the miracle of aggregation. This is what makes democratic governments better than dictatorships, in which only certain elites have a say and often hold opinions that are contrary to those of the majority.

    The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies Audiobook by Bryan Caplan

    For example, when the East German government built the Berlin Wall in , the decision stood in stark contrast to the general political sentiment of the East German people. If the country had been a democratic one, the miracle of aggregation would have never allowed such a wall to be built. So, the miracle of aggregation is what makes democracy function. Start your free Blinkist trial to get unlimited access to key ideas from The Myth of the Rational Voter and over 3, other nonfiction titles. With bitesize text and audio , it's easier than ever to find the right ideas to transform your life.

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