Watch: Why Are Voters So Uninformed?

Professor Dianna Thomas with the Utah State University shows us why being informed is not norm. This video was posted on Learn Liberty’s YouTube channel. Learn Liberty is an online resource that advocates for a free and prosperous society.

Do you know which political party holds the majority in the House of Representatives? How about the largest congressional budget item or the rate of inflation in the United States? Surveys show that fewer than half of respondents knew the answers to these questions in 2010. So why does the public know and care so little about government and politics? Prof. Diana Thomas shows how the answer is founded in basic incentives. It may take a lot of time and energy to become an informed voter, but there is little chance even the most informed voter can have any effect on the outcome of an election. Based on the lopsided incentives involved, most economists will say it is, in fact, completely rational to be ignorant about politics.

Chris Spangle is the publisher and editor of We Are Libertarians, a news site and podcast that covers national and Indiana politics from the libertarian perspective. Spangle previously worked in marketing for the Englehart Group on behalf of the Advocates for Self-Government. He also served as the Executive Director of the Libertarian Party of Indiana and producer of the Abdul in the Morning Show. He now works as the web director of a nationally syndicated morning show.

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