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July 09, 2013



Here are 2 pence... there is definitely a deficit of democracy. Unfortunately, this is largely a result of too much market influence over decision making in our society. The fallacy of rational expectations and its correlate, the efficient markets hypothesis, are arguably responsible for our present sad condition.


With party candidates selected by primaries made up of all these ignorant voters, we can look forward to potential MP's pandering to prejudice even more, and far less likely to challenge prejudice for fear of never even getting close to a selection let alone Parliament!


And what if the TUC's stats are misrepresented or wrong?

*On average people think that 41 per cent of the entire welfare budget goes on benefits to unemployed people, while the true figure is 3 per cent.*

And what about how many other benefits other than job-seekers these people will claim due to unemployment?

*On average people think that 27 per cent of the welfare budget is claimed fraudulently, while the government's own figure is 0.7 per cent.*

What's the definition of fraudulently?

I know a dozen people who got into social housing when they were poor, but now earn more than many people paying for private housing.

Not fraud, but the answers given are only as good as the questions asked.

To many people know of too many anecdotal situations where they see people on benefits living a relatively good lifestyle.

Now maybe that's my bias/stupidity/ignorance/hostility.

But I find the TUC's answers rather meaningless, as they are not asking all the right questions.


Well, direct democracy with decisions made at the lowest level possible would help - but that's part of anarchy and removes the power of the elites so it's going to be hard...

Markets can be a good discovery and distribution mechanism, but we need truly freed markets which arise naturally through the interactions of individualities. The forced markets we have will often disenfranchise people (and sometimes quite deliberately).


Well my take on democracy is that it is not a system designed to achieve good outcomes for a country through the wisdom of crowds or other mechanisms.

It is a system designed to make voters accountable for their votes, to punish voters if they make stupid voting choices, for example when the median voters are disengaged and/or fall for marketing directed at their wishful thinking by vested interests.

There is a planet-wide market for political systems, and there will be countries with a political culture of voters who are well informed and engaged and this drives better policies than in countries with a coarser political culture.

The countries with better voters will prosper and outcompete the countries with worse voters.

Eventually the more engaged capable voters in a country with mostly disengaged wishful thinking voters will want to emigrate to countries with a majority of people like themselves.

Consider each country as a housing association for a housing estate; those with smart, engaged members prosper and attract other good, engaged members, those with credulous, distracted members get swindled by their management and decay and lose the better residents.

Churm Rincewind

Well of course voters' preferences are affected by cognitive biases and ideology - or, in a word, narrative.

Narrative always trumps facts, as any historian will tell you. That's because facts are infinite, and susceptible to infinite interpretation.

By way of extreme example, Richard Littlejohn relies on the same facts as everyone else (and as far as I'm aware is generally accurate in his reporting of specific information). It's his narrative which matters.

By the same token, when the TUC claims that hostility to welfare spending is based on ignorance, all they're really saying is that those who are hostile to welfare spending don't rely for their opinions on the data selected by the TUC, and as result are prepared to see "facts" as secondary to narative.

Successful politicians understand this only too well.

manitas en barcelona

Stumbling and Mumbling: Democracy in question , es interesante, desde que os recibo no puedo parar de mirar todas vuestras sugerencias y me alegra cuando recibo uno más, sois lo mejor en español, me encata vuestra presentación y el curre que hay detrás. Un beso y abrazo,GRACIAS POR VUESTRO TRABAJO, nos alegrais la vida.

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