Bryan Caplan  

Median Voter to Self: Keep Up the Good Work!

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A recent Gallup poll confirmed the continuation of a 30-year trend: The median voter believes in himself! The question:

More generally, how much trust and confidence do you have in the American people as a whole when it comes to making judgments under our democratic system about the issues facing our country -- a great deal, a fair amount, not very much, or none at all?
The answers: "a great deal" - 17%; "a fair amount" - 53%; "not very much" - 27%; "none at all" - 4%.

On closer inspection, though, the fraction saying "not very much" or "none at all" has more than doubled since 1974, and gone up almost 50% in the last two years. A friend jokingly gives me the credit, but I have to think that the real reason is the Iraq War.

HT: John Samples


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COMMENTS (5 to date)
Steve Sailer writes:

Bryan:

In February 2003, what was your view on whether or not America should invade Iraq?

SusieQ writes:

You ask about views on whether or not America should invade Iraq as a guideline for determining if we can trust the judgment of Americans as a whole. You did not ask if we could trust the information that was given to the American public. The decision was made given erroneous information. If Americans had been told the truth, I believe our views would have been different. Many people agreed that we needed to get rid of the threat Iraq posed to the world. Had the truth been broadcast, decisions would have been much different. In other words, it was not the judgment of Americans as a whole, but of ONE American that caused us to end up in Iraq.

Steve Sailer writes:

No, I want to know what _Bryan's_ view was on the biggest issue of the decade. After all, he's the one who wrote the book about the decision-making superiority of economists over voters.

Daniel Klein writes:

Bryan, please make your personal mission to raise the "not very much" and "none at all" numbers.

On the other hand, if the median voter doesn't trust himself, does that make him more trustworthy?

Floccina writes:

IMHO the better questions would be "Did you think that our army should have been brought home from Iraq at the end of the war part of the action, or at least after the capture of Sadaam, or did you think that the army should have stayed and attempt to build a democracy in Iraq as they did?"

I was marginally against going into Iraq in the first place but was very frustrated when the army stayed in Iraq after a decisive win. Now the army is helping to enforce the fuel price controls in Iraq and are doing the war on drugs thing in Afghanistan. I have to wonder where these crazy people in Government come from. Is it that highly intelligent people who graduate from Harvard and Yale never took drugs nor knew people who did? Frustrated!

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