In 2010 and 2015, I did some data analysis to see which states had the most libertarians, based on Libertarian Party and Ron Paul election results. I've now done something similar for 2016. Unfortunately, in 2016 we didn't have a libertarianish Republican presidential candidate continue through every primary, and so we can't use primary election … Continue reading Where Were the Libertarians in 2016?
I've started a new blogging gig at Learn Liberty, a project of the Institute for Humane Studies. I'll be putting links to these posts here. My posts there will have the benefit of an editor, which is probably something I need. The first is on partisan rationalization and why epistocracy may not save us after … Continue reading Partisan Politics Makes Smart People Stupid
A few years ago, I did a statistical analysis of which states had the most libertarians, using data from 2004 and 2008 Libertarian Party vote shares and 2008 Ron Paul vote shares and contributions. David Boaz has prodded me to update these numbers in light of the 2012 election. This post does just that. To … Continue reading Where the Libertarians Are, Part 2
Dragnet's Joe Friday may have never uttered those words, but he would be impressed nonetheless by the facts on crime. There was a fascinating piece by Erik Eckholm in yesterday’s New York Times on the dramatic reductions in crime over the past several decades. Overall, crime peaked in 1991 and has fallen steadily since then. … Continue reading Just the Facts Ma’am
The Cato Institute has conducted a new poll of Americans' attitudes toward federalism. Apparently Americans have become much more favorable to federalism and decentralization over the past 40 years. The Cato Institute commissioned YouGov for the poll. They asked respondents questions about which level of government should have primary control over each issue area, using … Continue reading Changing American Views on Federalism
This week we celebrated Constitution Day, by among other things, watching Congress authorize funding for a war that is not a war, and allowing it to be waged on the basis of a 2001 use-of-force resolution that authorized military actions against parties involved with the 9/11 attacks (conveniently, it did not have an expiration date). … Continue reading Vox Populi
I always find polls to be interesting. In my mind, one of the more fascinating things is when there is a large disjunction between individuals’ assessment of X (e.g., the environment, crime, education, the economy) as they experience it and their assessment of X as the nation experiences it. I often attribute the differences to … Continue reading Rhetoric and Public Opinion on the Economy
Thomas Carsey and Geoffrey Layman in The Monkey Cage: The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press reported on June 10, 2013 that the percentage of Democratic identifiers who found NSA surveillance programs acceptable increased from 37 percent in January 2006 to 64 percent in June 2013. In contrast, the percentage of Republican … Continue reading Partisan Rationalization in Action
Ross Tilchin writes up the results of a Brookings study on libertarians in the Republican Party, citing some of the research I have done here on Pileus. The main point Tilchin argues is that libertarians are at a severe disadvantage nationally within the Republican Party, relative to competing constituencies like moderates and the religious right. … Continue reading The Libertarian Challenge Within the GOP
Factor price equalization due to trade and investment flows across economies would substantially reduce economic reasons for immigration to rich countries. (Trade and investment flows will not eliminate economic reasons for migration because if polities differ in total factor productivity due to political institutions, there can still be an advantage to migrating to a more … Continue reading Trade or Migrate?
The long war is hemorrhaging support among the public. As the NYT reports, a new NYT/CBS poll provides some rather striking evidence: The survey found that more than two-thirds of those polled — 69 percent — thought that the United States should not be at war in Afghanistan. Just four months ago, 53 percent said … Continue reading A Sea Change on Afghanistan?
David Corn’s soon-to-be released new book Showdown examines the pivot to address deficits in the summer of 2010-11. Many Democrats were bewildered that the administration would move on to the GOP’s turf and begin addressing the problem of deficits and debt (one might pause for a moment and ask whether there is any empirical evidence … Continue reading Deficits and Delegates
John Sides has a short but interesting post on 538 today looking at surprisingly strong public support for technocratic limitations on pure democracy. A few months ago I floated the idea of multiple voting as a way of overcoming, partially, the baleful effects of voter irrationality. Technocratic management would be another way to do it. … Continue reading Voter Support for Limiting Voting’s Reach
I recently ran a poll here to gauge support for the idea of giving voters with bachelor's and/or doctoral degrees extra votes in elections. I ran the same poll on a non-political site to get an idea of support from the general public. Surprisingly, Pileus readers opposed the reform overwhelmingly, 82-18%, while respondents on the … Continue reading Multiple Voting in Elections, Part 2
With the war in Europe between France and England intensifying, Americans found their rights as neutral traders regularly violated by both French and British navies, and French and British port restrictions further limited American opportunities for commerce. To make matters worse, on numerous occasions, English vessels had boarded American ships and “impressed” many of their … Continue reading Interposition: Part Seven: The Embargo and Noncooperation
In today’s NYT column, Paul Krugman asks a question that is interesting only because it leads me to a broader question. First Krugman. He notes that the GOP budget proposal promotes reforms to “make government health care programs more responsive to consumer choice.” Krugman then asks: “How did it become normal, or for that matter … Continue reading Barrier to Reform: The Customer is Always Right
On May 5, Britain votes in a referendum on a new electoral system called "alternative vote," also used in Australia (polls show it going down to defeat), but in Scotland and Wales, there are also elections to the devolved parliaments. The Scottish National Party (SNP), which advocates independence for Scotland within the E.U., is heading … Continue reading Nationalists Open Up Big Lead in Scotland
Popular support for gay marriage has been rapidly increasing in the last two years, and several polls now show that support for gay marriage is a plurality or majority position in the American public, according to research by Nate Silver. This shift in public opinion is happening far too rapidly to be due to generational … Continue reading Support for Gay Marriage Now the Majority Position, Say Several Polls
Public opposes all proposals for cutting the deficit, except raising taxes on those making over $250,000 a year.
In my Introduction to Political Philosophy class semester, I gave an essay final examination in which students had the option to answer this question: "Using one of the moral or political philosophies we have studied, defend a moral position on one of the following contemporary political issues: school vouchers, immigration restrictions, interrogational torture, or affirmative … Continue reading The Coming School Choice Moment?