Economics

Maybe Not

From conservative economist John Cochrane, comes this:

“Democracy, and US democracy in particular, serves one great purpose—to guard against tyranny. That's what the US colonists were upset about, not the fine points of tariff treaties. US and UK Democracy, when paired with the complex web of checks and balances and rule of law protections and constitutions and so forth, has been pretty good at throwing the bums out before they get too big for their britches. At least it has done so better than any other system.”

But maybe not when every vote does not count: in the not-yet-reformed American system of choosing the president, the candidates do not need or bother to campaign for every vote, and under these circumstances a passionate minority of voters can keep someone in office even when the majority would rather have someone else.


Allowing Democratic Decline Means Stifling Economic Growth

We should be concerned about the decline of democracy around the world for many reasons, and one of them is the harm that abandoning democracy would inflict on national economies.

That stands to reason given a new study published by the University of Chicago (Acemoglu, Naidu, et. al). The study, entitled “Democracy Does Cause Growth” concludes that “democratizations increase GDP per capita by about 20% in the long run”.

In short, democracy leads to growth and prosperity. The global trend in movements against democratic governance is therefore a great threat, not only to the erosion of freedom and civil liberties, but also the economic well-being of all citizens.

On the other side of things, is it possible that making our democratic institutions more robust— for example by implementing the National Popular Vote— could cause an increase in GDP or even prevent a future recession?

Losing Trust In Government

Losing Trust In Government

Would it surprise you to learn that a large majority of Americans affirmatively agree that they do not want to see their local hospitals destroyed by heavy rainstorms? I mean, let’s hope not. Fine, the question is silly but the problem isn’t: it’s raining more than it used to.