The Corner

So Why Even Have Elections?

This is fascinating.  Cato has released a paper by Bryan Caplan arguing that, to put it crudely, voters don’t know squat. He writes:

The central idea is that voters are worse than ignorant; they are, in a word, irrational—and they vote accordingly. Despite their lack of knowledge, voters are not humble agnostics; instead, they confidently embrace a long list of misconceptions.

Now, this isn’t exactly an entirely new argument.  Economists have been talking about “rational ignorance” for years.  But Caplan’s paper (which I haven’t read entirely yet) looks to flesh out a lot of the details–the hows and whys–of voter “irrationality” in a way that you don’t usually see. 

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