"Caplan argues that voters continually elect politicians who either share their biases or else pretend to, resulting in bad policies winning again and again by popular demand. Calling into question our most basic assumptions about American politics, Caplan contends that democracy fails precisely because it does what voters want. Through an analysis of American's voting behavior and opinions on a range of economic issues, he makes the case that noneconomists suffer from four prevailing biases: they underestimate the wisdom of the market mechanism, distrust foreigners, undervalue the benefits of conserving labor, and pessimistically believe the economy is going from bad to worse. Caplan lays out several ways to make democratic government work better… (more)
A supporter once called out, "Governor Stevenson, all thinking people are for you!" And Adlai Stevenson answered, "That's not enough, I need a majority." --Scott Simon, "Music Cues, Adlai Stevenson"
In a dictatorship, government policy is often appalling, but rarely baffling.
Economists have created and popularized many of the most socially beneficial in human history, and combated many of the most virulent. If they were self-conscious of their role in the world, they could do much more.