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Book Review: The Myth of the Rational Voter

April 23, 2013

I promised myself I would at least read seven books this year and give a critique of each and yet this is feeling like a chore and here’s why. It is not because I lack skill nor is it because I am lazy, maybe its because I am not cut out to be a book critic or maybe its because the book was written for academia and quite frankly I have had my fill of that kind of material.

What got my attention was the idea that democracy doesn’t work because voters are not well informed and making voting decisions based on irrational and biased beliefs about the economy. That much I agree with the author, but if that is not good enough for you egg heads out there, Bryan Caplan, the author backs his premise with plenty of statistical data and theorems and all that stuff I am frankly quite tired of reading. I had to read statistical data and their margin of error via standard deviations all through college and even in post graduate work and for what? I work for a non-profit that helps people live off the government.

Anyway, I am not sure but I think the author criticizes Austrian economists as “market fundamentalists”. I am not sure because at times the author seems to understand the importance of the free market and such things as the fallacy of minimum wage laws, but he never seems to take a stance on any particular issue.

This is not going to be a lengthy review folks, I will keep it short and sweet, if I had to read it all over again, I wouldn’t. I prefer reading More Guns, Less Crime which by the sound of the title some of you may think is an easier read and it is, but not that much easier, Professor Lott also filled his book full of statistical data to back up why more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens means less crime in a community, but in his case, I support all that statistical jargon. Bury them with the evidence Professor Lott! Geez was The Myth of the Rational Voter so bad that I ended up bringing up another book instead? Yes I think it is that bad, at least, if you are tired of academic reading like I am.

Stay tuned folks as my next book review will be more positive. I am anxiously reading The Art of Barter by Karen Hoffman and Shera Dalin and I have already learned a skill or two and have put it to use. That’s what I am looking for in books these days, information that can enhance my life in a hands on type of way. I have already read plenty of books to enhance my egg head intellectual experience. Bring on the self-sustaining, off the grid, starve the beast information! Excelsior!

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