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


      The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies
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 This is economist Bryan Caplan s sobering assessment in this provocative and eye opening book Caplan argues that voters continually elect politicians who either share their biases or else pretend to, resulting in bad policies winning again and again by popular demand.Boldly calling into question our most basic assumptions about American politics, Caplan contends that democracy fails precisely because it does what voters want Through an analysis of Americans voting behavior and opinions on a range of economic issues, he makes the convincing case that noneconomists suffer from four prevailing biases they underestimate the wisdom of the market mechanism, distrust foreigners, undervalue the benefits of conserving labor, and pessimistically believe the economy is going from bad to worse Caplan lays out several bold ways to make democratic government work better for example, urging economic educators to focus on correcting popular misconceptions and recommending that democracies do less and let markets take up the slack The Myth of the Rational Voter takes an unflinching look at how people who vote under the influence of false beliefs ultimately end up with government that delivers lousy results With the upcoming presidential election season drawing nearer, this thought provoking book is sure to spark a long overdue reappraisal of our elective system. Best Download [ The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies ] author [ Bryan Caplan ] For Kindle ePUB or eBook – cricketworldcuplivestreaming.com

Bryan Caplan is a professor of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia He received his B.S in economics from University of California, Berkeley and his Ph.D from Princeton University His professional work has been devoted to the philosophies of libertarianism and free market capitalism and anarchism He is the author of the Anarchist Theory FAQ He has published in American Economic Review, Public Choice, and the Journal of Law and Economics, among others He is a blogger at the EconLog blog along with Arnold Kling, and occasionally has been a guest blogger at Marginal Revolution with two of his colleagues at George Mason, Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok He is an adjunct scholar of the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.Currently, his primary research interest is public economics He has criticized the assumptions of rational voters that form the basis of public choice theory, but generally agrees with their conclusions based on his own model of rational irrationality Caplan has long disputed the efficacy of popular voter models, in a series of exchanges with Donald Wittman published by the Econ Journal Watch Caplan outlined several major objections to popular political science and the economics sub discipline public choice Caplan later expanded upon this theme in his book The Myth of the Rational Voter Princeton University Press 2007 , in which he responded to the arguments put forward by Wittman in his The Myth of Democratic Failure.He maintains a website 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 Caplan has also written an online graphic novel called A Infernale.

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      The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies
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  • Hardcover
  • 276 pages
  • The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies
  • Bryan Caplan
  • English
  • 12 October 2018
  • 0691129428

10 thoughts on “ The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies

  1. says:

    Since I probably won t finish this book before school starts, I figure I d put in my review now based on the first few chapters While I was really excited to see this book come out and feel it s a topic long overdue for a good discussion, I believe Caplan is too smart for his own good The premise of the book is that if the average person knowsabout economics, our democracy would function better Caplan contends that systematic anti foreign, anti market, pessimistic and make work biases Since I probably won t finish this book before school starts, I figure I d put in my review now based on the first few chapters While I was really excited to see this book come out and feel it s a topic long overdue for a good discussion, I believe Caplan is too smart for his own good The premise of the book is that if the average person knowsabout economics, our democracy would function b...

  2. says:

    I was blown away when I read The Myth of the Rational Voter when it came out in 2007 Re reading itthan a decade later I had much the same feeling Bryan Caplan argues that voters make systematic errors when they vote about economic issues The result, he argues, is that expanding voting and the scope of what gets decided by votes results in sub optimal outcomes His conclusions are to some degree grounded in a wide literature in politics, economics, social psychology, and other fields but I was blown away when I read The Myth of the Rational Voter when it came out in 2007 Re reading itthan a decade later I had much the same feeling Bryan Caplan argues that voters make systematic errors when they vote about economic issues The result, he argues, is that expanding voting and the scope of what...

  3. says:

    Caplan is half right He explores in some detail why irrationality is inherent to the human condition, and how this necessarily leads voters to make bad decisions But I have two major problems with the book 1 Caplan s prime example of how stupid voters are is that voters want to regulate international trade Certainly free trade is powerful and good, and while I agree with him that protectionist isolation would be very bad, there are reasonable, nuanced, and intelligent reasons that one might Caplan is half right He expl...

  4. says:

    This book is all about economics and the amazing differences in beliefs of trained economists and the voting public The author posits and offers proof that this is why democracies choose bad policies The book i...

  5. says:

    I read this book because ever since Prop 8 passed in California, I have completely lost faith in direct democracy, and started feeling like voting was just opting into a corrupt system of the majority suppressing whatever minority they didn t like The We are the 99% protests rubbed me the same way This book confirmed some of my mood, but left me a bithopeful The author offers an erudite, economist viewpoint that the perception that voting is just like the free market is wrong because I read this book because ever since Prop 8 passed in California, I have completely lost faith...

  6. says:

    Requiring my concentration throughout, this book packs a big payoff in every section 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 Caplan, a Princeton economist, cleaves the difference between the rational way we conduct business in our economic lives and the irrational way we hold political positions on economic Requiring my concentration throughout, this book packs a big payoff in every section 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 Caplan, a Princeton economist, cleaves the difference between the rational way we conduct business in our economic lives and the irrational way we hold political positions on economic issues and blazes the trail to view the electorate as systematically irrational Think of it as book on philosophy with demand curve graphs or the behavioral psychology of truth seeking, this ...

  7. says:

    Caplan argues that the average voter is often not only uninformed but systematically biased in their judgement He heavily draws on data of the Survey of Americans and Economists about the Economy, showing that the enlightened public, i.e those that for example can tell the name of their senator, are in general very close to the opinion of economists I m not sure how strong this argument is, I d have preferred some data on successful predictions made by the class of economists versus Caplan argues that the average voter is often not only uninformed but systematically biased in their judgement He heavily draws on data of the Survey of Americans and Economists about the Economy, showing that the enlightened public, i.e those that for example can tell the name of their senator, are in general very close to the opinion of economists I m not sure how strong this argument is, I d have preferred some data on successful predictions made by the class of economists versus laypeople The book is held together by four economy related biases 1 anti market bias e.g having a negative attitude towards profit seeking companies, neglecting the benefits from trade and competition 2 anti foreign bias zero sum atti...

  8. says:

    I am not an economist, but according to Bryan Caplan, I can be defined as a part of the enlightened public because I have a Master s degree 4.0 GPA in education from UMass Boston I have also been living under the American poverty line as an American born citizen for the last three years not by choice or any lack of effort to obtain a living wage Caplan is a professor of economics at George Mason University and touts a Ph.D from Princeton University also the publisher of this book, I am not an economist, but according to Bryan Caplan, I can be defined as a part of the enlightened public because I have a Master s degree 4.0 GPA in education from UMass Boston I have also been living under the American poverty line as an American born citizen for the last three years not by choice or any lack of effort to obtain a living wage Caplan is a professor of economics at George Mason University and touts a Ph.D from Princeton University also the publisher of this book, which is totally convenient I believe that Caplan s 2007 production of The Myth of the Rational Voter Why D...

  9. says:

    There s too much here for me to give it less than 3 stars, but Caplan seems to willfully ignore two related retorts to this thesis Two caveats, though First, I m not summarizing the interesting argument, so if you haven t read a synopsis of the book, it s possible that none of this will make sense Second, I m not writing this with the thought that it disproves Caplan It s just a couple of things that were bugging me The first retort is that when he characterizes adherence to There s too much here for me to give it less than 3 stars, but Caplan seems to willfully ignore two related retorts to this thesis Two caveats, though First, I m not summarizing the interesting argument, so if you haven t rea...

  10. says:

    This book will probably haunt me until the day I die It will haunt me before I sleep, and it will haunt me when I wake It is a chilling analysis of why democracy, as we know it in America, does not work It doesn t work because most people are irrational voters People are irrational voters because they vote on their preconceived biases about the economy, foreign policy, etc And their biases are mostly wrong because they re uneducated about these matters, and the educated elites that are This book will probably haunt me until the day I die It will haunt me before I sleep, and it will haunt me when I wake It is a chilling analysis of why democracy, as we know it in America, does not work It doesn t work because most people are irrational voters Peop...

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