4 Ways Economists Think We’re All Wrong | Econ Chronicles

How much does the average person know about economics? How about trade and immigration? Economists claim to know a great deal about these topics, and study them in depth. And while they often disagree with each other, most economists agree a lot more with each other than they do with the public. So why do democratic citizens tend to reject what economists say? Are there certain biases that make democracies choose bad economic policies? Follow this series of videos to find out.

6 Comments

  1. Lukas Koube

    man, mr caplan is a genius! radical ignorance is an intense enough idea to trash most public choice theory. 

  2. gibsonr91

    We are told that its our “civic duty” to vote whether or not we are informed in the slightest way. But as this video suggests, its just as much our “civic duty” NOT to vote if we are not informed enough to make a rational decision when voting. If people voluntarily remove themselves from the electorate because they feel that they are unable to make this decision, then this would increase the number of rational voters, and provide a new demographic of people that politicians could try to appeal to. In turn we might begin to see policies that are rational and therefore benefit society as a whole.

  3. Matt Wavle

    In Public Choice Theory we learn things like a combination between the two axioms, the customer is always right, and majority rule is best.  The result is believing that if the consumers of government services are always right (as the customer) and if a majority voted for a certain outcome, then no rational person ought to question the will of a doubly infallible system.

    —  Yet, if you’ve ever been on the receiving end, as a small minority, in a very bad decision made by a super-majority, then you’ll understand what is meant by a Tyranny of the Masses.  Add to that the fact that the customer is NOT always right.  And those who succeed in the long term are those who sell what the client really NEEDS instead of what they say they want. 
  4. Matt Wavle

    Anti-foreign bias, Anti-market bias, Make-work bias and Pessimistic bias are by no means a complete list of unhealthy methods that advertisers get us to choose their product over another.  

      Bryan Caplan’s a smart guy.  Perhaps he’ll do a video of even more of these methods.

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