The Myth of the Rational Voter, by Bryan Caplan


Buy it here.  Just like everyone else is doing.


Yes, it's expensive, but it qualifies for free shipping. Your purchase of this book is much more rational than voting.

Don't ecomomists also claim that it is not rational to spend your time voting. Maybe it is economists who nave deeply, persistently, and systematically mistaken models of reality.

Thanks to Prof Caplan Economists can continue contributing more to understanding of decision making
and democracy than the political scientists. Just what is it that those guys do? If they have come
up with any interesting ideas word of it has failed to get out.....Oh--its a pretty good read!

Prequel: "The good king: Why autocratic rule is even worse"

It will be interesting to see if he handles Whittman's basic criticism: consumers are irrational in the same ways Caplan considers voters irrational. Yet Caplan doesn't consider this a big problem for markets.

Caplan suggests relying more on markets to compensate for voter irrationality. Symmetry suggests that we rely more on voting to compensate for consumer irrationality. And yet a third option is to rely on independent agencies (courts and regulatory agencies such as the Fed).

So the big question in my mind is just how bad the libertarian propaganda and special pleading is. Caplan has a very creative mind.

Maybe it is economists who nave deeply, persistently, and systematically mistaken models of reality.

What you mean like advocating a behavior known to spread fatal disease, because a logical parlor trick says that it will prevent disease?

Economics: Its all fun and games until someone pokes their T-cells out.

sfa, why don't you "allow [your]self the right to complain" and at the same time not vote? It seems pretty goofy to me that you don't do as I and Caplan do, grumbling about getting the government voters deserve.

Mike, Caplan replied to the Wittman piece you posted here.

I can't encounter Bryan Caplan without being reminded of the Simpsons episode where the brainiacs take over Springfield.

Council: Stephen Hawking!
Skinner: The world's smartest man!
Lisa: What are you doing here?
Hawking: I wanted to see your utopia, but now I see it is
more of a Fruitopia.
Skinner: [chuckles] I'm sure what Dr. Hawking means is --
Hawking: Silence. I don't need anyone to talk for me, except
this voice box. You have clearly been corrupted by
power. For shame.
Homer: Larry Flynt is right! You guys stink!

Ricardo ... I hear you man.

Ron Reagan: I'm not sure Caplan would disagree with you that the US is one of the better countries in terms of law and order, prosperity, freedom, etc. (Not sure why you chose to single out South Africa. It's not that bad, one of the better parts of Africa, along with Botswana.) However, a large part of the reason why the US is so great is that so much decision-making is in private hands. I think the argument here is just that things could be better.

Ricardo/Odograph: Even commenting on a blog is better than voting. Voting is anonymous.

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