Fascinating lecture by the Economist Brian Caplan on the myth of the rational voter. A couple of extremely useful pieces of data that I didn’t know about to remember for future debates:
- The better informed a person is politically the more likely they are to favour free-markets over a strong controlling government.
- Well informed poor people are far more likely to be in favour of free markets than the average poor person.
The second bullet is particularly interesting because it backs up a point that libertarians are often trying to makes: that free-markets and low levels of regulations are good for the poor not bad. The idea that our arguments are just excuses for big business to run rampant over the disadvantaged are even dismissed by the poor as they become more educated on the issues. Concrete statistics on our side for those who don’t find the moral arguments convincing.
Anyway watch the full lecture, I really enjoyed it:
[Edit: Fringe Elements has written some great stuff on why democracy doesn't work]