Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government Is Smarter

Stanford University Press, 02/10/2013 - 275 páginas
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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Ilya Somin is a Professor at the 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 and The Wall Street Journal 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.

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