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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The High-Tech Solution to Voter Irrationality?

I can't resist commenting on this post from Bryan Caplan (here's his co-blogger disagreeing with me today, but that's not what motivated this):

The High-Tech Solution to Voter Irrationality, by Bryan Caplan: This didn't make it into the book, but one of my favorite remedies for voter irrationality has long been to simply clone John Stossel. His column today just reinforces my support for the clone-Stossel solution:

More practically, [Caplan] thinks that "Everyone who knows some economics" should grab every opportunity to teach it. That's what I try to do with my "20/20" segments, television specials and the Stossel in the Classroom program, which brings economic ideas to high-school and college classrooms.

I wonder if Stossel realizes that when I was writing this section, I had him in mind?

Is it John Stossel's "The Tax-Cut Myth" that Bryan has in mind? John Stossel says it's a myth that tax cuts increase the deficit:

The Tax-Cut Myth, by John Stossel, RCP: ...[T]ax cuts stimulated the economy and increased tax revenues. It happens because, as the Laffer Curve illustrates, lower rates mean higher rewards for productive activities. ...

Bush boasted last year, "This economy is growing, federal taxes are rising, and we're cutting the federal deficit... Some in Washington say we had to choose between cutting taxes and cutting the deficit. Today's numbers show that that was a false choice. The economic growth fueled by tax relief has helped send our tax revenues soaring."

But I don't want tax revenues to soar. That's money you and I could be spending for things we want. I want revenue and spending and government overall to shrink. So I'm not celebrating with the president. ...

Bryan has argued that many voters are uninformed - he uses economics as his prime example - and that perhaps we should consider giving the uninformed less say in the political process. So I'm curious, should endorsing "myths," and what Stossel said is a myth, that's clear, should being uninformed about the effect of tax cuts disqualify him from voting?

    Posted by on Wednesday, August 1, 2007 at 06:48 PM in Budget Deficit, Economics, Politics, Taxes | Permalink  TrackBack (0)  Comments (15)


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