Headline Dismay Minimization
By Bryan Caplan
Evaluate this simple cynical theory of what almost every politically aware person really wants: Minimizing the negative emotions they personally experience when they read/see/hear top news stories. In other words, the politically aware strongly care about even objectively minor problems that get a lot of coverage, but barely care about even objectively major problems that get little coverage. And almost all their political efforts – voting, arguing, slacktivism – revolve around their ill-considered emotions.
Public obsession with terrorism but apathy about the global murder rate (over 1000 per day) is a prime example of what I have in mind. Hideous headlines call for drastic action, but vastly greater evils the media ignores aren’t worth worrying about.
Please show your work.