Day By Day

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Boneheaded Voters

Bryan Caplan has an excellent piece in Reason Online [originally in the September print edition] on the The 4 Boneheaded Biases of Stupid Voters. Before you get your knickers in a twist he adds that we all, himself included, are stupid when it comes to voting on economic matters. What he is talking about is four systemic biases we all have, and which politicians ruthlessly exploit, that result in bad economic policy.

He writes:
[T]he general public’s views on economics not only are different from those of professional economists but are less accurate, and in predictable ways. The public really does generally hold, for starters, that prices are not governed by supply and demand, that protectionism helps the economy, that saving labor is a bad idea, and that living standards are falling
All of these are demonstrably false propositions, yet the public stubbornly continues to believe in them and politicians playing to these false perceptions continue to pass legislation that weakens rather than strengthening the American economy.

Read the whole article here. Go on, you'll be glad you did.