Utne Blogs > Politics

Stupid Is as Stupid Votes

by Staff

Tags: Reason, Voting, Economics,

The October issue of Reason excerpts economist Bryan Caplan's newest book, The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policy (Princeton University Press). The George Mason University professor details the "The 4 Boneheaded Biases of Stupid Voters (And we're all stupid voters)" as a critique of the free-market myth of the rational consumer. As Caplan sees it, citizens (even economists!) buy into the usual hype peddled by politicians. He finds that voters are generally economically pessimistic, underestimating the benefits of job loss – which economists believe can be a good thing – markets, and foreign competition. This irrational behavior runs counter to many of today's global economic theories. —Eric Kelsey