Conservatism's Id

In the newest issue of ITT I have a book review of Bryan Caplan’s book The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies. The book makes the argument that democracies are systematically disposed to choosing bad policies (and by bad, Caplan means pretty much any feature of the regulatory or welfare state) not because of special interests but because voters are stupid. What’s important about the book is that Caplan comes out and says what I think a lot of conservatives, particularly of the libertarian variety believe: that democracy empowers the stupid masses to expropriate the wealth of the talented and deserving few. It’s a very old idea, but if you look carefully, you can still see it cropping up from time to time.

Chris Hayes is the host of All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC.

Join Chris’s email list.