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Author Topic: voting is actually rational though  (Read 911 times)

vh

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voting is actually rational though
« on: March 23, 2016, 07:36:28 AM »
i just realized this this morning

traditional wisdom : voting is a bad idea because small chance of changing outcome

but -- this is wrong because you ignore the effects of voting.
say your chances of changing the election outcome (in the US) are 1E-8

but a president can have a large effect on a country. suppose we just look at economic policies, and say that one president will increase the income of the lower/middle class by just one percent, whereas the other will not change anything. this is a very conservative estimate.

this one percent translates to ~1E3 dollars over the 4 year term of the president -- for 3E8 people.
therefore, voting is functionally equivalent to giving (1E3)(3E8)(1E-8) = 3000 dollars to an average citizen.

suppose voting takes 2 hours, and you can make $100 in those two hours instead of voting. now it's debatable whether it's better to given $3000 to some american citizen or $100 to buy 20 malaria nets for africans. nevertheless, it's no longer clearly irrational to vote, and, in a swing state, it is probably a very good idea to vote

Darvince

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Re: voting is actually rational though
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2016, 08:42:16 AM »
traditional wisdom is quite often wrong and it gets wronger every day

tuto99

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Re: voting is actually rational though
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2016, 08:42:47 AM »
uh
sure

atomic7732

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Re: voting is actually rational though
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2016, 10:38:07 AM »
yes