Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. TESLA! Cathy Wood ARK Funds Bubble BURSTS! - 12th May 21
2.Stock Market Entering Early Summer Correction Trend Forecast - 10th May 21
3.GOLD GDX, HUI Stocks - Will Paradise Turn into a Dystopia? - 11th May 21
4.Crypto Bubble Bursts! Nicehash Suspends Coinbase Withdrawals, Bitcoin, Ethereum Bear Market Begins - 16th May 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.Cathy Wood Ark Invest Funds Bubble BURSTS! ARKK, ARKG, Tesla Entering Severe Bear Market - 13th May 21
7.Stock Market - Should You Be In Cash Right Now? - 17th May 21
8.Gold to Benefit from Mounting US Debt Pile - 14th May 21
9.Coronavius Covid-19 in Italy in August 2019! - 13th May 21
10.How to Invest in HIGH RISK Tech Stocks for 2021 and Beyond - Part 2 of 2 - 18th May 21
Last 7 days
Junior Gold Miners: New Yearly Lows! Will We See a Further Drop? - 23rd Jul 21
Best Forex Strategy for Consistent Profits - 23rd Jul 21
Popular Forex Brokers That You Might Want to Check Out - 22nd Jul 21
Bitcoin Black Swan - Will Crypto Currencies Get Banned? - 22nd Jul 21
Bitcoin Price Enters Stage #4 Excess Phase Peak Breakdown – Where To Next? - 22nd Jul 21
Powell Gave Congress Dovish Signs. Will It Help Gold Price? - 22nd Jul 21
What’s Next For Gold Is Always About The US Dollar - 22nd Jul 21
URGENT! ALL Windows 10 Users Must Do this NOW! Windows Image Backup Before it is Too Late! - 22nd Jul 21
Bitcoin Price CRASH, How to SELL BTC at $40k! Real Analysis vs Shill Coin Pumper's and Clueless Newbs - 21st Jul 21
Emotional Stock Traders React To Recent Market Rotation – Are You Ready For What’s Next? - 21st Jul 21
Killing Driveway Weeds FAST with a Pressure Washer - 8 months Later - Did it work?- Block Paving Weeds - 21st Jul 21
Post-Covid Stimulus Payouts & The US Fed Push Global Investors Deeper Into US Value Bubble - 21st Jul 21
What is Social Trading - 21st Jul 21
Would Transparency Help Crypto? - 21st Jul 21
AI Predicts US Tech Stocks Price Valuations Three Years Ahead (ASVF) - 20th Jul 21
Gold Asks: Has Inflation Already Peaked? - 20th Jul 21
FREE PASS to Analysis and Trend forecasts of 50+ Global Markets by Elliott Wave International - 20th Jul 21
Nissan to Create 1000s of jobs with electric vehicle investment in UK - 20th Jul 21
Bitcoin Halvings Price Forecast and Stock to Flow Analysis - 18th Jul 21
Dell S3220DGF Unboxing and Stand Assembly - 32 Inch 165hz Curved Gaming Monitor Amazon Discount - 18th Jul 21
What Does The Fed Mean By “Transitory Inflation” And Why Is It Important To Understand? - 18th Jul 21
Will the US stock market’s worsening breadth matter? - 18th Jul 21
Bitcoin Halving's Price Projection Forecasts Trend Trajectory - 18th Jul 21
Dell S3220DGF Price CRASH to £305! 32 Inch 165hz Curved Gaming Monitor Amazon Bargain - 16th Jul 21
Google, Amazon and Netflix are Scrambling For This Rare Gas - 16th Jul 21
Sheffield Millhouses Park New Children's Play Area July 2021 Vs Old Play Area - Better or Worse? - 16th Jul 21
Inflation Soars, Powell Remains Unmoved. What about Gold? - 16th Jul 21
Goldrunner: Gold Could Jump To $1,900-$2,100 In Next 30 days – Here’s Why - 15th Jul 21
Tips For Finding The Right Influencers - 15th Jul 21
ECB Changed Monetary Strategy. Will It Alter Gold’s Course? - 15th Jul 21
NASA And Big Tech Are Facing Off Over This Rare Gas - 15th Jul 21
Will the U.S. Dollar Lose Momentum In the Second Half of 2021? - 15th Jul 21
Bitcoin Stock to Flow Model Forecasts Infinity and Beyond! - 14th Jul 21
Proteomics: The Next Truly Massive Investing Opportunity - 14th Jul 21
Massive Solar Storm to Hit Earth 2025, Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) Danger and Protection Solutions - 14th Jul 21
Is This The Best Way To Play The Coming Helium Boom? - 14th Jul 21
Meet SuperMania and its Ever-Present Sidekick, SuperMeltdown - 14th Jul 21
How NFTs Are Shaking Up Arts Trading - 14th Jul 21
Gold: High Time to Move Out of the Penthouse - 13th Jul 21
Climb Aboard! Silver Should Run Up To $38 In Next 30 Days - 13th Jul 21
How Will Remote Work Impact the U.K. economy? - 13th Jul 21
Why Helium Stocks Are Set To Soar in 2021 - 13th Jul 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

US Presidential Election 2016 - Your Vote Won’t Count!

ElectionOracle / US Presidential Election 2016 Nov 01, 2016 - 01:47 PM GMT

By: John_Mauldin


BY PATRICK WATSON : Election Day is coming and everyone is telling us how to vote. I have a more basic question: should you vote at all?

Don’t do it. Voting in the presidential election could kill you. We know this because economists say so.

I know that sounds weird. Let me explain.

Economics is all about how we allocate scarce resources… such as your vote. Like most other decisions, we make it using cost-benefit analysis: What does x cost and what benefit will it give me? If benefit outweighs cost, then x is a rational choice.

So, what is the cost of voting for our next president? It’s not much. Just find your way to the polling place, check a few boxes, and then go home to await the results.

Voting’s benefit also seems clear: Your vote helps your chosen candidate win.

It’s a little more complicated than that

You see, whoever wins the presidential election will almost certainly win whether you vote for that person or not.

Your vote probably won’t decide the election—though it could. Here’s what would have to happen.

First, the other 49 states would have to line up such that no candidate has an Electoral College majority.

Next, your own state (or your congressional district if you’re in Maine or Nebraska) would have to deadlock with no one candidate earning a plurality of the popular vote. Then, your vote—yes, yours—is the one that tips the scale.

This scenario is possible. We can even calculate the odds it will occur.

It turns out the chance your vote will be decisive is considerably less than the chance you will be hit by a truck and killed on your way to the polling place.

Risk is a cost

Taking it is irrational unless you receive compensation.

We should note that the math changes for state or local elections. Your vote carries more weight in smaller populations.

But the math is also clear that voting for president is more likely to kill you than result in your candidate winning.

Statistically, voting for president because you think your candidate needs your vote is like watching a football game on TV and yelling at the coach to run a different play.

Will your yelling help your team win? Possibly.

  • Maybe your neighbor will hear you and happen to know the coach’s phone number.
  • Maybe he will call the coach to share your idea during the next commercial break.
  • Maybe the coach will call the play you suggest, and maybe it will win the game.

All that could happen, but it probably won’t

The cost-benefit analysis is clear, then. Voting for president is a hazardous act we should all avoid. Yet many of us vote anyway. Why?

This is a big problem for researchers. It’s called the Downs Paradox, named after the political scientist who identified it back in the 1950s.

Quantitative decision models presume people are benefit-maximizing, cost-minimizing variables who always make rational choices. Yet next week, millions of us will do something clearly irrational. We’re breaking economics, and we don’t even feel guilty about it.

Humans are irrational

Humans are far more complex than any equation can capture. But economists keep trying. Including the economists who work at the Federal Reserve.

The Fed’s hundreds of PhD-holding economic experts know exactly how to manage the economy if everyone is rational. Since we’re obviously not rational, we are also unmanageable.

It’s not just that we are irrational. We are all irrational in different ways, depending on our circumstances. We change all the time, too. For any model to reflect this dynamic diversity is all but impossible.

The Fed’s models assume a world that doesn’t exist. Is it any wonder they give us such crazy, ineffective interest rate and monetary policies?

To be fair, Janet Yellen knows the models are flawed. She has been asking the Fed staff to find better ones. They’re working on it.

Meanwhile, Election Day is coming.

Should you vote or not?

Yes, you should.

Voting is about more than electing our preferred candidate. By voting, we show the politicians they work for us. We set an example for our children. We remind ourselves that, for all our differences, we are one nation that shares an important responsibility.

Yes, a truck might hit me on the way to vote. But it could also hit me if I go to the mall.

Staying home won’t shield me from lightning strikes. Danger is everywhere, not just around polling places.

I know my vote won’t change the election’s outcome. I also know with 100% certainty that my vote will change me.

None of us likes admitting mistakes. So, we defend whoever we voted for even when we shouldn’t. We give them a blank check—which is an excellent reason to take the choice seriously.

If I don’t vote at all, I’m essentially withdrawing from society. I’m saying to everyone else, “You’re on your own. Don’t blame me.”

That attitude is understandable if you don’t like any of the choices, but it’s not natural or healthy.

None of us lives in an economy of one. The “course of human events” that Thomas Jefferson described in the Declaration of Independence includes every human.

Election Day is when we show our commitment to each other by making the best choice we can. That, I submit, has benefits far greater than its risks.

So live dangerously: Vote, and watch out for trucks.

Become the Best-Informed Investor You Know

The world is more interconnected than ever before. Only those investors who understand how current world events are linked can prepare for what’s going to happen. Sign up for Mauldin Economics’ free weekly newsletters for a bird’s-eye view of macroeconomic reality.

John Mauldin Archive

© 2005-2019 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in