Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government Is Smarter

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9780804786614: Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government Is Smarter

One of the biggest problems with modern democracy is that most of the public is usually ignorant of politics and government. Often, many people understand that their votes are unlikely to change the outcome of an election and don't see the point in learning much about politics. This may be rational, but it creates a nation of people with little political knowledge and little ability to objectively evaluate what they do know.

In Democracy and Political Ignorance, Ilya Somin mines the depths of ignorance in America and reveals the extent to which it is a major problem for democracy. Somin weighs various options for solving this problem, arguing that political ignorance is best mitigated and its effects lessened by decentralizing and limiting government. Somin provocatively argues that people make better decisions when they choose what to purchase in the market or which state or local government to live under, than when they vote at the ballot box, because they have stronger incentives to acquire relevant information and to use it wisely.

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About the Author:

Ilya Somin is Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law. Somin's work has appeared in numerous academic journals, including the Yale Law Journal and Stanford Law Review. He has also published widely in popular press outlets, such as the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal OpinionJournal.com. Somin has twice testified before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, including at the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. He writes regularly for the Volokh Conspiracy blog.

Review:

"Voter ignorance can be rational: The likelihood of one vote mattering is infinitesimal, so why make the effort to stay informed? But as Ilya Somin demonstrates in this mind-opening book, voter ignorance has bad consequences that strengthen the case for limited government, including judicial review to put a leash on wayward majorities."—George F. Will, Journalist and Pulitzer Prize Winner

"Is political ignorance as bad as it seems? Ilya Somin powerfully argues that we seriously underestimate the severity of the problem. Political knowledge is woefully deficient, and democracy works poorly given the quality of the voting public. Democracy and Political Ignorance is the most cogent, thoughtful, and up-to-date book on political ignorance on the market."—Bryan Caplan, George Mason University, author of The Myth of the Rational Voter

"Political scientists have long worried about voter ignorance, but the law has been slow to catch up. Ilya Somin is part of an important group of legal thinkers grappling with this issue and its legal implications. With exceptional clarity, Somin offers a variety of solutions to the problem of voter ignorance, including a spirited and systematic defense of the value of voting with one's feet."—Heather Gerken, Yale Law School

"Can we reasonably believe that American citizens are actually interested enough in politics to learn what they need in order to cast knowledgeable votes? Somin illuminates both the extent of political ignorance and why maintaining such ignorance is rational for voters who recognize the near-futility of their efforts at political engagement. Even the most skeptical readers of his suggested solutions will benefit from wrestling with Somin's vigorously argued analysis."—Sanford Levinson, The University of Texas Law School

"Ilya Somin has an excellent new book on the problem of political ignorance in democracy... Highly recommended." - Jason Brennan, Georgetown University, author of The Ethics of Voting

"Ilya [Somin's] book is well worth reading for anyone interested in the problem of how a democracy can cope with an electorate that isn’t particularly interested in politics. It’s lucid, original, and in many ways compelling." - Sean Trende, Senior Elections Analyst, RealClearPolitics

“Democracy and Political Ignorance is a fascinating and provocative work of scholarship.... [It] provides a well reasoned, carefully qualified case for smaller government. ... Somin’s preferences are clearly on the libertarian, decentralized side of the spectrum. Yet one need not subscribe to all—or indeed any—of his normative conclusions to appreciate his smart, thoughtful consideration of the issues.” - Christopher Schmidt, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology

"Ilya Somin...  shows that Americans know woefully little about their political system, have known very little for a long time, and are not likely to change in the foreseeable future — because they have a very good reason not to... [M]any insights...  come out of a book on ignorance that is, perhaps paradoxically, highly informative." – A. Barton Hinkle, Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Penetrating analysis of the problem with majoritarianism." - Randy Barnett, Georgetown University Law Center, author of Restoring the Lost Constitution

"A great book... According to Bryan Caplan this is 'the most cogent, thoughtful, and up-to-date book on political ignorance on the market.' I totally agree."  - Aristides Hatzis, University of Athens, editor of Economic Analysis of Law: A European Perspective

"A new book, Democracy and Political Ignorance from the Stanford University Press, is now a must-read for the policy/ government types in the US." - Marlen Ronquillo, Manila Times (the Phillippines)

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Ilya Somin
Editorial: Stanford University Press, United States (2013)
ISBN 10: 0804786615 ISBN 13: 9780804786614
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Descripción Stanford University Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.One of the biggest problems with modern democracy is that most of the public is usually ignorant of politics and government. Often, many people understand that their votes are unlikely to change the outcome of an election and don t see the point in learning much about politics. This may be rational, but it creates a nation of people with little political knowledge and little ability to objectively evaluate what they do know. In Democracy and Political Ignorance, Ilya Somin mines the depths of ignorance in America and reveals the extent to which it is a major problem for democracy. Somin weighs various options for solving this problem, arguing that political ignorance is best mitigated and its effects lessened by decentralizing and limiting government. Somin provocatively argues that people make better decisions when they choose what to purchase in the market or which state or local government to live under, than when they vote at the ballot box, because they have stronger incentives to acquire relevant information and to use it wisely. Nº de ref. de la librería AAV9780804786614

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Descripción Stanford University Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. One of the biggest problems with modern democracy is that most of the public is usually ignorant of politics and government. Often, many people understand that their votes are unlikely to change the outcome of an election and don t see the point in learning much about politics. This may be rational, but it creates a nation of people with little political knowledge and little ability to objectively evaluate what they do know. In Democracy and Political Ignorance, Ilya Somin mines the depths of ignorance in America and reveals the extent to which it is a major problem for democracy. Somin weighs various options for solving this problem, arguing that political ignorance is best mitigated and its effects lessened by decentralizing and limiting government. Somin provocatively argues that people make better decisions when they choose what to purchase in the market or which state or local government to live under, than when they vote at the ballot box, because they have stronger incentives to acquire relevant information and to use it wisely. Nº de ref. de la librería AAV9780804786614

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