The myth of the rational voter: why democracies choose bad policies / Bryan Caplan. p. cm. Classical Public Choice and the Failure of Rational Ignorance. Review of Bryan Caplan’s The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies. Francesco Caselli1. December 1London School of. The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies. By Bryan Caplan. May 29, In theory, democracy is a bulwark against socially.

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Jun 28, Nathaniel rated it really liked it. Caplan argues that voters continually elect politicians who either share their The greatest obstacle to sound economic policy is not entrenched special interests or rampant lobbying, but the popular misconceptions, irrational beliefs, and personal biases held by ordinary voters.

But since it’s the uneducated majority who wield most of the power Requiring my concentration throughout, this book packs a big payoff in every section. bryqn

I made the conscious decision not to vote in the presidential election, but certainly have at least some practical knowledge and understanding of American politics. I’m not saying that Caplan should defend a model – I’m saying that he ignores the possibility that laypeople are motivated by such concerns. Jan 07, Mike the Paladin rated it liked it Shelves: It will haunt me before I sleep, and it will haunt me when I boter. My takeaway and derived thoughts from this book: The individual cost of voting is very low, and the individual impact of bad policy is even lower.

Then what’s the matter with anything beneficial being unpopular?

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

People are much better of now than they were before in almost every way. No one should expect handouts, even if it’s to our benefit to give those bums free money Caplan’s argument crucially depends on the notion that systematic bias occurs due us non-economists’ lack of incentives to take the costs of our ideology seriously, given our knowledge that our vote will not be decisive.

If the system is broken, what do we do to fix it? Luckily entertainment has become developed enough that it is actively searching for thirsty consumers. Chapters 1 and 2 are very good too, but chapter 5 alone makes this a nearstar read for me. But the author argues they are rational only because it is costly to be wrong. Journal of Libertarian Studies. Caplan outlined several major objections to popular political science and the economics sub-discipline public choice.

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Note that there isn’t a necessary connection between the two; there is nothing about believing that the world is years old that necessitates believing that Jesus Christ is the son of God, for instance.

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

Oct 29, Trey Malone rated it it was amazing. He maintains a caplna that includes a “Museum of Communism” section, that “provides historical, economic, and philosophical analysis of the political movement known as Communism”, to draw attention to human rights violations of which, despite often exceeding those of Nazi Germany, there is little public knowledge.

Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies book review “. For example, it’s all too obvious to identify which candidate is which in this sentence: A intellectual book that isn’t boring is a rare treat, and Caplan comes through with that in The Myth. Fukuyama’s dream of democracy was already destroyed, yet nowadays we still have plenty of people who continue to stand blindly behind this failing system of inefficiency and incompetence.

The language used is really complicated at times. All too often, some economists will invoke public choice theory without actually describing what they mean. There are two primary reasons: In any event, a fun book, and good enough to prompt me to write a too lengthy review: Once elected, MPs can really do whatever they want in congress or parliament.

Apr 18, Otto Lehto rated it liked it. Rationao second speculation is a bit more in the weeds and deals with an interesting observation from educational psychology my field.

The Myth of the Rational Voter – Wikipedia

I would highly recommend it to those who wonder why stupid people like Trump can get elected as the Republican nominee. Still, I like his informative ramble even though it’s not as clear as it should have been.

It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public funds treasury. Simple points are easily lost in detail and elaborate examples. There was another writer in the late s and early s named Alexander Fraser Tytler. To take one example: I started this book to find a solid explanation of Trump and Brexit and I’ve found not one but several and yes, book was published in If the ideological and self-serving biases are true, most of the difference between the “enlightened public” and economists should disappear.

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Lists with This Book. Jan 08, catharine rated it it was amazing Shelves: You don’t have to agree with everything he says — I have a few minor disagreements w A intellectual book that isn’t boring is a rare treat, and Caplan comes through with that in The Myth. The person who the Dumbies voted in over Smarties does not necessary have to be themselves a Dumbie.

The suggestion that a republic of markets is superior to a democracy is particularly hard to swallow in ratiional of later developments like the Citizens United decision that were clearly influenced by thinking like this. The level of stupidity always rises dramatically when people get together to form a crowd, no matter how well-educated the individuals might be.

Caplan goes on to outline several biases regarding economics held by the general public – the anti-market bias, the anti-foreign bias, the make work bias, and the pessimi Caplan argues that voters, even the highly educated, make poor decisions based on their systematically biased beliefs; he takes this tendency to define irrationality. An example might help illustrate the argument. Rational irrationality, or the active avoidance of truth when the material cost of errors is not too high, is distinct from rational ignorance in which voters simply tire of seeking the truth.

And their biases are mostly wrong because they’re uneducated about these matters, and the educated elites that are educated about these matters almost always disagree with the uneducated majority on these matters. I predict there will soon be a class of people who would become virtually useless in all fields, and the best the society can do is to put a nipple in their mouth and let them get high on themselves.

A protectionist will still outsource because he has to achieve as many advantages over his competitors as he can to stay in business. The author presents the economic biases shared by a frighteningly large majority of voters and follows by clearly although with a lot of empirical evidence demystifying these biases in a way that makes your brain feel good.

The analysis is full of problems, however, on the following counts: