Who Likes Democracy?
By Arnold Kling
People bitch and moan about taxes and spending, but they have no idea what their government spends money on. The average voter thinks foreign aid consumes 24% of our federal budget. It’s actually less than 1%
Alex describes Maher as “unleasing his inner Bryan Caplan,” but Caplan’s point is a bit more subtle. If you listen to this talk by Bryan, you will hear that he thinks of voter ignorance as a form of pollution. It costs an individual nothing to be ill-informed or irrational as a voter, so each voter heedlessly throws his irrationality into the common pool, so to speak.
Anyway, my point is that not many people like democracy. Progressives like to think that they use “the people” to fight special interests, but what progressives really want is government by elite technocrats, like the Fed or the IMAC (a proposed independent commission to set health care policy). Recently on this blog, I have argued that libertarians should favor exit rather than voice as a check on government.
If the P’s and the L’s don’t really want democracy, then who does? At this point, the C’s probably are more in favor of democracy than anyone else. We’ve had democracy for a long time, so keeping democracy is the conservative position.
Again, I am somewhere between an L and a C.