Wednesday, July 4, 2012

ObamaCare [ObamaTax] and the "informed voter"

In Public Choice Theory the proposition put forth on a regular basis is that the average consumer is more informed than the average voter. That the average consumer purchasing a good or service will search for information, compare options, compare price and seek referrals/advise regarding a purchase. The average voter does not spend comparable time and expense to become informed when deciding on an issue or candidate to vote for come election time.


However, Public Choice Theory observes that the average voter considers himself/herself an “informed voter“. Upon further investigation, the “informed” portion really means informed regarding the issues that directly affect them. Generally speaking, the issues that the average voter is informed about are either localized issues such as a damn being built nearby or sector related issues such as a proposed tariff on imported steel when the voter works in the steel industry. In both cases the “informed” portion is related to the “directly affected by” portion.

It is worth noting, that in the main, voter A is likely completely uninformed about a separate local issue affecting voter B five states away. The same uninformed situation occurs in sector based issues.

Occasionally an issue is local and national, meaning it is a similar issue in each locale. Stated alternatively, assume every voter worked in the steel industry supporting a tariff on import steel and every voter was having a damn proposed right next door to their home. What occurs is many localities are being affected in a similar fashion and hence all the local voters are similarly “informed“.

Obamacare is one of those occasional issues that create a wide population, locale after locale, of “informed” voter on a single issue.

Within the local informed voter situation mentioned earlier, local informed voters inform other local informed voters with additional, supplemental, technical and other information which increases the level of the informed voter on the local issue. Such trading of information can and does create associations, collaborations, meeting, movements, etc. regarding the issue.

With Obamacare you have a much, much wider population yet the same informed voter informing other informed voters with additional, supplemental, technical and other information. However, with the wider population you have more resources to uncover information as well as many more people trading information. Also you have a greater opportunity, due to the size of the informed voter population. for the creation of trading of information leading to associations, collaborations, meeting, movements, etc. regarding the issue. Also, due to the size of the similar informed voter population on the similar issue, scale comes into play where associations, collaborations, meeting, or movements can become national in scale and/or merge to become very large in nature and scope.

Returning to the traditional localized informed voter, national level politicos can trade votes [logrolling] so one politico can trade his/her vote to support another politicos local issue and visa versa. That is, the damn can be built and the tariff imposed as two politicos representing two completely unrelated issues can trade votes in support of one another’s issue. However, when the informed voter becomes national regarding an issue, logrolling becomes more difficult as the politico finds it difficult to hide their one vote for an obscure item regarding another locale/sector for support of the issue in the politicos locale as all locale become one locale.

It should be of interest of how a national informed voter on a particular issue with the absence of politico vote trading, plays out come November when the informed voter casts a ballot.

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