Thursday, March 10, 2011

Review: Myth of the Rational Voter, by Bryan Caplan

subtitle: "Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies"
Engaging, somewhat technical, an excellent swipe at the failure of established economic practice to explain what happens during out elections. I think I finally know what public choice economics refers to. Biases of non-economists are central, to quote from PBSwap:
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. 
Distrusting foreigners translates easily into protectionism and tariffs, which hurt. Conserving labor is the tough one, because he means that we should protect an individual in a particular job, but instead allow 'churn', so that people move to the jobs that will be the most productive. So European unions/protection gets a bad grade, there. I learned a lot, which is what I was looking for.

PBSwap link.
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