>”The Myth of the Rational Voter” is good so far. I’ve read about half of it. The author, an economist, examines the following idea:
Voters in democracies overwhelmingly support policies that are detrimental to long-term economic well-being. Why?
The answer is not simply, “They’re stupid”, “They’re gullible”, or “Special interests have a hold on government”. It’s a bit more complicated than that.
There are four groups of systemic biases:
1. Anti-market bias: The idea that somehow, government is a better way to deal with economic issues than markets.
2. Anti-foreign bias: The idea that it is economically detrimental to deal with foreigners, either through international trade or immigration.
3. The “Make-work” bias: It is good to promote policies that “create jobs” at the expense of productivity.
4. Bias toward pessimism: The idea that conditions were much better in the past.
More to follow.