Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Political Irrationality


Are you politically irrational? In the TED video below, Michael Huemer points out two of the more glaring politically irrational policies that exist in the present day United States. These policies exist in most Western societies to some degree, Canada is no exception. Libertarians will agree that BOTH of the examples that Huemer uses are indeed irrational. Conservatives will agree with one of them, Socialists will likely agree with the other one.

I know generalizations are dangerous, but Huemer does suggest that a different group of people may agree with one or the other. For those of you that don't understand libertarianism, maybe those examples will help?

Huemer goes on to suggest that the reason policies are often irrational, is because most people are politically ignorant. In my experience that is a fundamental truth of politics. I think Huemer gives a good explanation and then he surveys his audience to validate his explanation.

Huemer then goes on to explain why people are irrational. Being rational is costly, his first point. People will be rational if they believe the rewards exceed the cost, but most people understand that they have just one vote to affect change. So why bother thinking rationally? At this point, Huemer suggests that its easy to persuade most people, that most people are irrational about politics, absolutely true.

So why do we need people to be rational about politics? Well, you should watch the video, he seems to spend the least time on that, but it's the most important point in the story. 


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.