poli sci 40 paper - Joseph So Political Science 40 Final...

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Joseph So Political Science 40 Final Paper Professor Shwartz Voting is our way of holding elected officials accountable. But many studies have argued that voters are not rational. Can we, as an electorate, vote “wisely” and hold our leaders accountable? Throughout the political history of the United States, it has become more accepted that the average citizen is ignorant of the complexities of politics. In most recent years, this sentiment has been compounded with economists who argue that the average citizen holds “extreme anti economic biases”, and that these economic biases are the root of political irrationality. More specifically, economists argue that “anti-market bias”, “anti foreign bias”, and “make-work bias” cause citizens to possess an irrational outlook of how the economy functions, which inevitably leads them to make irrational policy demands of their representatives. I contend that arguments that utilize anti-economic biases to justify voter irrationality are not only logically unsound, but also structurally unsound. Those who believe the average voter is irrational, argue that voters’ general bias against foreign interactions, lead to irrational political opinions, and demands. This “anti- foreign bias” as described by economists refers to the, “tendency to underestimate the economic benefits of interaction with foreigners.” Economists argue that people see their country of origin as a player in the competition of global market. Thus voters create a dichotomy between their country of origin and foreign markets, labeling foreigners as the
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“enemy”. Contrary to voter bias, economists around the world assert that foreign interactions such as trade and immigration benefit both parties. Thus economists believe
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