Don’t waste your vote!

Vote for Johnson.  Here’s a discussion of Gary Johnson in Reason magazine:

When he ran for governor as a Republican in heavily Democratic New Mexico. He had no prior political experience. He won by a 10-point margin. (By poetic coincidence, he beat a competitor for the GOP nomination named Dick Cheney.) Johnson spent his first term slashing taxes and reining in the growth of the state budget. Then he won a second term, and spent that crusading for school vouchers and marijuana legalization. He set a record for vetoing bills—750 of them, more than all other 49 governors combined during the same period—and left a budget surplus in his wake.

Last year Johnson ran for the Republican nomination for president. For reasons known only to the organizers, he was shut out of three early debates, which effectively killed whatever chance he had of gaining traction in the primaries. But those chances were slim to begin with, given his views on issues such as abortion (he believes “fundamentally in the right…to choose”), gay marriage (“equal acess to marriage for all Americans is a right,” he says, blasting President Obama for giving the matter only “lip service”) and national defense (he would cut the Pentagon 43 percent, just like every other department—except Education, which he would abolish).

Equally problematic in the GOP these days, he also believes in evolution. To make matters worse, “I believe in global warming and that it’s man-made.” And even though he does not use tobacco, alcohol, or caffeine, he did use marijuana for three years to ease the pain from his paragliding accident.

On the other hand, he is not likely to win over many Democrats with his views on gun control (“I don’t believe there should be any restrictions when it comes to firearms. None”), taxes (he cut them 14 times as governor), or Obamacare (he has said it is unconstitutional).

Given those positions, he’s a natural fit for the Libertarian Party—whose presidential nomination he won earlier this month. As ABC News put it, Johnson “intends to hit Obama from the left and Romney from the right. ‘I got a leg up on Obama when it comes to civil liberties,’ Johnson said. “I crush Obama when it comes to dollars and cents. I think I have a leg up on Romney when it comes to dollars and cents and I think I crush him on civil liberties.’ ” He would repeal the Patriot Act and says habeas corpus should be “respected entirely.”

Johnson has another political Achilles’ heel: He is unflinchingly honest. “Always be honest and tell the truth” is one of his Seven Principles of Good Government. A  profile in GQ last year put it more bluntly: “There is nothing he will not answer, nothing he will not share. . . . Johnson is fundamentally incapable of bull****ing.” Example: When Mitt Romney made a swing through Michigan, he gushed oleaginously about how “I love this state. It seems right here. The trees are the right height. I like seeing the lakes. I love the lakes. . . .” By contrast, when a reporter asked Johnson if he would say the same nice things about Michigan that he had said about New Hampshire, he answered: “No, Michigan’s the worst.”

Yes, he’s got some bad ideas on monetary policy, but there are also lots of problems with Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

In any case, Johnson’s not going to win.  And remember, you are probably thinking that I’m “wasting my vote.”  But the fact that Johnson won’t win is exactly why you should vote for him.  By the time the libertarians get close to power they’ll get much more moderate, just as the German Green Party moderated as it got closer to power.  They’ll start listening to market monetarists on monetary policy.

If I lived in Ohio and God told me I’d have the deciding vote between the top two candidates in this election, I’d vote for Johnson.  The whole point is to sway policy, and you don’t do that by winning elections, you do that by getting votes.  If the libertarians ever start stealing 5% or 10% of the votes from one of the two major parties (or both) you can be sure that next time they’ll shift their position closer to the libertarian direction.  Obama will think twice about sending in the Feds to shutdown those medical marijuana clinics in LA.

My second choice?  I don’t have one, mostly because I have no idea what Romney would do if elected.

The average apolitical blue collar guy you meet in a bar will tell you there’s not much difference between the two parties.  Well-informed intellectuals roll their eyes at this know-nothing attitude, pointing out that the Dems favor big government and the GOP favors a radical reduction in the size of government, at least that’s been their position since the Reagan era.  But the facts actually support the drunk in the bar, there’s no evidence that I know of that the Dems spend more than the GOP.  Rather the Dems spend money on their interest groups (the poor, the teachers, the environmentalists, the government workers, etc) and the GOP spends it on their interest groups (the military, the elderly, the space program, the farmers, etc.)  Nixon was a much bigger spender than Carter, and Bush II was a much bigger spender than Clinton.  More sophisticated empirical analyses show basically no overall difference between the parties.  But the facts don’t matter to those sophisticated intellectuals, they just know the GOP favors small government and the Dems favor big government.

In any case, why should my endorsement matter?  I trust the voters much more than I trust any expert, including myself.  Remember the “wisdom of the crowds?” If you want good political advice ask someone with better judgment than me; someone like Matt Yglesias or Tyler Cowen.  Indeed even those teenage bloggers Soltas and Wang probably have better political judgment than I do.  Monetary policy is my comparative advantage.  Beyond that I’m just a drunk in a bar.

PS.  Each party won 50% of the presidential elections in the 20th century, and each party will win 50% of the presidential elections in the 21st century.  That’s how our system works.  No point in sweating over which party wins this election or that one.  Keep your eye on the ball–the fight over policy is what matters.  You win by setting the agenda, by being a Roosevelt or a Thatcher.  The rest is just noise.

PPS.  I do have some Senate race endorsements:

—Massachusetts: Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren has the edge against Republican Sen. Scott Brown in one of the most expensive races in the country — $68 million and it’s all candidate spending as the two agreed to ban outside money. With the backing of the tea party, Brown won a special election in January 2010 to fill the seat of the late Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy. Brown has vowed to be an independent voice in the Senate, but he’s up against some hard numbers. Obama will win the state handily and there will be 700,000 to 800,000 more voters than in 2010, many of them Democrats and independents who favor Democrats.

—Indiana: Tea party-backed state treasurer Richard Mourdock stunned the GOP in May when he easily knocked out six-term Sen. Richard Lugar in the primary. He is giving Republicans fits again because he could lose on Tuesday even as Romney wins the state and Rep. Mike Pence likely emerges as the next governor. Mourdock had limited goodwill after suing in 2009 to stop the federal government’s bailout of Chrysler. He further damaged his hopes when he said in a debate that pregnancy resulting from rape is “something God intended.” Public and internal polls show conservative Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly with a lead in the high single digits. The question is whether he can overcome the state’s Republican trend. Libertarian Andrew Horning could affect the outcome.

I endorse Scott Brown and Joe Donnelly (or Andrew Horning).  The GOP needs to be punished for replacing respected Senators like Richard Lugar with complete morons like Mourdock.  Fix the GOP by electing people like Brown and rejecting people like Mourdock.

And enjoy the election.  I like to always look at the bright side.  I’ll either win my IEM bet or I’ll avoid a tax increase.  And whichever candidate wins, lots of people whom I despise will be very unhappy.

PPPS.  My 13 year old daughter told me that she also recommends that all my readers vote for Johnson.

PPPPS.  I see Gallup and Rasmussen dropped their numbers to +1, just as the skeptics predicted they would do.  The critics predicted that if the other polls were at even right before the election, those two GOP-leaning polls would chicken out and mysteriously join the majority, to avoid looking foolish on election day.  I can’t prove that’s what happened, but the skeptics’ prediction certainly came true.  And since Intrade didn’t move on the news, it appears that Intrade bettors never took them seriously.


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58 Responses to “Don’t waste your vote!”

  1. Gravatar of johnleemk johnleemk
    5. November 2012 at 18:44

    I’m still troubled by Johnson’s positions on monetary policy, but your “drunk in a bar” analysis of the effect of a vote for him still seems more persuasive than most of the arguments I’ve seen for Obama or Romney in various newspaper/journalistic endorsements.

    Also, I’m not sure what Warren’s other positions are (I assume she hews to Democratic orthodoxy) but her signature accomplishment, the CFPB, is fundamentally bad thing for America’s economy and financial regulatory framework. The only good thing I can say about it is that it at least does its job. The problem is, its job is to do what half a dozen or more other government agencies were already supposed to be doing. Creating the CFPB without removing those other agencies’ authority to regulate consumer finance basically creates a double jeopardy position for most financial institutions serving the public.

    The CFPB is in of itself a good idea that will totally backfire because it adds more complexity to an already overly complex system. Warren’s inability to understand this, or total ignorance of this, is quite clearly a bad thing, and unfortunately she’s probably the best the Dems have to offer in terms of Senatorial candidates with a passion for policy. It’s too bad she’ll probably win.

  2. Gravatar of Don’t be a Sophist! Vote Gary Johnson « Economic Sophisms Don’t be a Sophist! Vote Gary Johnson « Economic Sophisms
    5. November 2012 at 18:52

    [...] Looks like Scott Sumner is also backing Johnson! Like this:LikeBe the first to like this. Categories: Uncategorized Comments (0) [...]

  3. Gravatar of Kevin Dick Kevin Dick
    5. November 2012 at 19:07

    I nearly shed a tear when my 12 year old told me he was going to vote Johnson in the mock election at school. And two teenagers cheered my endorsement of Johnson when they asked me who I was voting for while I was dispensing candy on Halloween. And this is SF Bay California. One young mind at a time.

  4. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    5. November 2012 at 19:16

    I’m not voting for anybody, because I don’t believe that willingly hiring a thug to steal from my peaceful neighbors is morally justified.

    About 589 light years away from that, the nearest politicians worth supporting are Gary Johnson and Ron Paul, with Paul being slightly nearer because he understands economics, history, and the constitution better than Johnson.

  5. Gravatar of Dan Dan
    5. November 2012 at 19:26

    Ummm… I’d be interested in knowing what these “more sophisticated empirical analyses” are.

  6. Gravatar of Neal Neal
    5. November 2012 at 19:39

    More important than symbolic votes for third-party candidates on the national stage, you should support third-party candidates locally. National parties are built from the ground up.

  7. Gravatar of Greg Hill Greg Hill
    5. November 2012 at 20:22

    “In any case, why should my endorsement matter?”

    After reading your arguments on behalf of Gary Johnson, Scott Brown, et al, I can see why you’d ask the question. But keep up the the macro/monetary posts. Unlike your political opinions, these posts are full of interesting ideas.

  8. Gravatar of Jason Jason
    5. November 2012 at 20:35

    Johnson is a much more consequentialist Libertarian rather than a taxation is theft Libertarian. I like the use of empirical evidence rather than dogma.

    And he passes the most important test: he is radically pro immigration, which is the most important issue that US policy can use to better world welfare.

  9. Gravatar of Jason Jason
    5. November 2012 at 20:44

    On another note, I live in MA and the ads against Warren have been so disgusting that I am voting for her partially out of the deep dislike for Scott Brown that comes out of these attacks.

    They use “Harvard Professor” as some sort of derogatory slang in every attack its so idiotic its mind blowing. I just got my last attack ad in the mail today about how Warren sides with the big corporations and not working families. Its just complete bullshit and its amazing that anyone would be convinced by this nonsense.

    I don’t like either major party but I like a few individuals in each party. These are people that are honest, intellectual, have convictions, and are willing to work to get things done with people of different opinions.

    Scott Brown is the exact opposite of the first three things: he is completely fake, pisses on intellectualism, and doesn’t seem to have strong convictions.

  10. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    5. November 2012 at 20:48

    This is junk. From an incorrect mind.

    The difference between “interest groups” is that ONE side PAYS THEIR GODDAMN FREIGHT and the other does not.

    Sumner’s problem is that he accepts the idea the money is the states first.

    I may come to accept NGDPLT as the best conservative position, we’ll see tomorrow.

    But if Scott is wrong on the election – EVERYTHING he thinks falls aside into 2nd postion and he is my bitch. Forever.

    both sides are not equal.

    one side is promising their constituents things they did not earn.

    the other side is hacking the system to try and get back the money / taxes that were unjustly taken from them in the first place.

    the haves do not owe the have nots, we’re just lucky humans are mostly decent at the unit level.

    MONEY does not exist for everyone equally. It is not a social good.

    It literally, dollar for dollar, like votes being counted, exists for those who have the majority of total dollars. And the government has none.

    Economic hegemony is another kind of Democracy, where the vote that matters it the dollar itself. The dollars of a certain group add up to more than an others, and we aren’t yet sure that paradigm doesn’t trump one vote a man when it comes to redistribution.

    Both Money and Vote Democracy matter equally.

    Much like memetics where the thing that matter is the meme, and not the brain that holds the idea, not the person, not the soul – the idea, the dollar, it has its own organic tendencies.

    You can’t wave anything you want away by calling yourself a utilitarian – begging exists for a reason.

    And beggars cannot be choosers.

  11. Gravatar of Mario Mario
    5. November 2012 at 20:49

    I could never vote for a third party candidate that was involved in another party’s primary. Once you choose to enter the system, you are morally obligated to support the winner of that race, both in the general election and, I believe, in the primary (although I would weaken the obligation to voters in the primary, I would still say you have an obligation as both a voter and a candidate in both).

  12. Gravatar of Three surprising libertarian views on the election. « Increasing Marginal Utility Three surprising libertarian views on the election. « Increasing Marginal Utility
    5. November 2012 at 21:18

    [...] Sumner comes to the conclusion that you should forget about that whole “money” thing and…. This seems like it’s completely out of line with what he has said in the past, although he has seem to become increasingly annoyed with Republicans. [...]

  13. Gravatar of Devan Devan
    5. November 2012 at 21:45

    It’s a shame that Brown and Warren are running against one another in the same state. I can think of a number of states that could do with either one up for election, rather than the choices we’re stuck with. Yglesias had it right when he said it’s a shame we have to pick between two good candidates when states like Missouri have no worthwhile options. (My state, Nevada, isn’t a whole lot better. I would gladly have a Brown or a Warren in the running here.)

  14. Gravatar of James Bailey James Bailey
    5. November 2012 at 21:58

    “If I lived in Ohio and God told me I’d have the deciding vote between the top two candidates in this election, I’d vote for Johnson.”
    I would do the same, while laughing maniacally.

  15. Gravatar of W. Peden W. Peden
    5. November 2012 at 22:09

    My advice would be to vote for any candidate that proposes removing the law that requires American elections to be on Tuesdays. Totally outdated.

  16. Gravatar of Lorenzo from Oz Lorenzo from Oz
    5. November 2012 at 22:25

    Totally coincidentally, I just put up a post on why two-Party systems end up with such even levels of support.
    http://skepticlawyer.com.au/2012/11/06/the-dynamics-of-division/

    Of course, just like the US adopted the secret (aka “Australian”) ballot, you should also adopt preferential voting. That is another way to make third Party votes count.

  17. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    5. November 2012 at 23:22

    Scott, how much of this do you agree with: http://johnhcochrane.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/debate-with-goolsbee.html

  18. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    6. November 2012 at 00:32

    My 13 year old daughter told me that she also recommends that all my readers vote for Johnson.

    Come on, did she really reach that conclusion all by herself? Btw do you know who your wife is voting for (if she votes)?

  19. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    6. November 2012 at 00:35

    Don’t tell me that she’s actually figured out that free markets are a good idea just from listening to you… Surely she cares more about inclusiveness, and gay rights, and Hope and Change and the First Black President. Or whatever it is that 13 year olds think about when they think about elections.

    Then again, she’s your daughter, so she’s probably really smart. She’s probably been figuring out whether Romney’s tax plan adds up on her own.

  20. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    6. November 2012 at 00:39

    And whichever candidate wins, lots of people whom I despise will be very unhappy.

    Sounds like you’re on Will Wilkinson and Adam Ozimek’s team:

    https://twitter.com/willwilkinson/status/265646138621837312

    https://twitter.com/ModeledBehavior/status/262240183867564032

  21. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    6. November 2012 at 00:41

    I trust the voters much more than I trust any expert, including myself. Remember the “wisdom of the crowds?”

    OK, you really need to read some Greek history… Or for that matter Myth of the Rational Voter.

  22. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    6. November 2012 at 00:42

    By the time the libertarians get close to power they’ll get much more moderate, just as the German Green Party moderated as it got closer to power. They’ll start listening to market monetarists on monetary policy.

    But how can you be sure that that’s the only respect in which their views will change?

  23. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    6. November 2012 at 00:43

    MF said: I’m not voting for anybody, because I don’t believe that willingly hiring a thug to steal from my peaceful neighbors is morally justified.

    Excellent, you’ll just make everybody else’s votes count all the more.

  24. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    6. November 2012 at 00:44

    I nearly shed a tear when my 12 year old told me he was going to vote Johnson in the mock election at school.

    Is this a thing? Are the preteens all Libertarians in America?

  25. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    6. November 2012 at 00:47

    I’m still troubled by Johnson’s positions on monetary policy, but your “drunk in a bar” analysis of the effect of a vote for him still seems more persuasive than most of the arguments I’ve seen for Obama or Romney in various newspaper/journalistic endorsements.

    Actually, Conor Friedersdorf made a similar argument two months ago: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/09/why-i-refuse-to-vote-for-barack-obama/262861/
    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/10/the-responses-to-why-i-refuse-to-vote-for-barack-obama/263057/

    Also, the No.1 reason not to vote for Obama.

  26. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    6. November 2012 at 02:11

    Why we need the electoral college: http://johnhcochrane.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/why-electoral-college-is-great-idea.html

  27. Gravatar of Cameron Cameron
    6. November 2012 at 03:46

    Ohio voter here, I agree completely! I would have been shattered if you advocated anything else.

  28. Gravatar of Cameron Cameron
    6. November 2012 at 03:50

    Saturos,

    “Is this a thing? Are the preteens all Libertarians in America?”

    I think libertarians have replaced conservatives for anyone under 30 or so… social issues, social issues, social issues!

    That said, ideology is mostly genetic, so it’s not a surprise children of libertarians are also libertarian.

  29. Gravatar of Negation of Ideology Negation of Ideology
    6. November 2012 at 04:11

    There’s a lot to like about Gary Johnson, but you’re right he’s bad on the most important issue, monetary policy. Neither Romney nor Obama will make monetary policy worse, and either could make it better. Gary Johnson will almost certainly make it worse by pandering to the hard money folks. He has specifically opposed QE, when inflation is the lowest since the 50′s.

    Obama and Romney are about tied on monetary policy, the median economist will guide the Fed in either case.

  30. Gravatar of Johannes Johannes
    6. November 2012 at 04:49

    @Morgan Warstler
    You should at least take into account that markets distribute ressources depending on the law of supply & demand and fairness does not play much of a role in it. So if income distribution goes up it is not necessarily because “poorer” people got lazier and “richer” people got more engaged…

  31. Gravatar of Simon Simon
    6. November 2012 at 04:52

    Scott, I just want to say to you that the time and effort you make when responding to your commenters is truly remarkable. I think that factor alone makes your blog a must read. Feels like democracy. Keep it up.

  32. Gravatar of StatsGuy StatsGuy
    6. November 2012 at 05:03

    I’ve always wondered on the accuracy of InTrade. Right now, it deviates substantially from several very competent models (fivethirtyeight for example). There’s no way to test this in a single election, but I do wonder if we could accumulate enough evidence over several elections to check to see which is more accurate.

    The one thing InTrade certainly does better is react faster (before new polling data comes in). For example, it reacted quickly to the Fed’s QE3 announcement, and it reacted to Obama’s miserable first debate performance.

    The evidence I’ve seen on predictive markets comparing them to expert models, however, suggests that the two sources give more or less the same answer most of the time.

    In any case, as fivethirtyeight notes, for InTrade to be correct, the polls would have to be substantially biased. So, it seems InTraders are betting the polls are biased (these, of course, being the same people that believe that Fox News is the only unbiased news source out there, rather than a simple money making corporation that is doing its best to sell commercials).

  33. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    6. November 2012 at 05:06

    Cameron, so why aren’t they voting Obama? In fact I thought most young people did support Obama, except maybe in the South.

    Simon, agreed. I wouldn’t still be here if Scott hadn’t replied to my first comment all those months ago.

  34. Gravatar of StatsGuy StatsGuy
    6. November 2012 at 05:09

    BTW, you may have spoken too soon about InTrade not reacting to the Gallup poll – it moved 2.8% this morning.

    I’m more interested in the “win by 0.5%” contracts. Obama is predicted to win by 0.5% with 58% probability, and romney with 32% probability, so that leaves a 10% chance the election will be within 0.5% either way. I suspect there is greater than a 10% chance that the election would be that close.

    Theoretically, I could take this bet by buying buying selling 1 obama beats by 0.5% contract and 2 romney beasts by 0.5% contracts (or something close to that ratio), but the market is not liquid enough to justify this.

    In fact, looking at the overall liquidity of InTrade, it looks like an idea whose times has finally come… and already gone.

  35. Gravatar of Becky Hargrove Becky Hargrove
    6. November 2012 at 05:19

    Cameron,
    It’s good to hear that young people are actually conscious of libertarianism! My parents are libertarian inside and out but blissfully unaware of it, they just didn’t spend a lot of time when they were younger around others who spoke of politics.

  36. Gravatar of Tom Hannaford Tom Hannaford
    6. November 2012 at 05:23

    I’m not a fan of Gary’s monetary stance for right now, but having followed him for quite some time I can tell you this much: He is not stubborn about stances in policy areas where he is not very experienced. He’s definitely someone who can be convinced of the errors in his stance by those who know more about a policy issue than he does. Plus, I don’t recall him talking much about monetary issues until it became clear that the GOP was embracing the Pizzaman more than their most successful governor in the primary season, so I think his stance on monetary policy is largely a product of him being around a lot of hard money people since then…

  37. Gravatar of Brent Brent
    6. November 2012 at 05:32

    “I guess it comes down to what special interest groups you support.”

    How would you respond to that?

  38. Gravatar of Cameron Cameron
    6. November 2012 at 05:43

    Saturos,

    They do for the most part, but those with right wing economic views aren’t going to vote for Obama. The issue is that they won’t vote for Romney either.

    Becky,

    Libertarianism is definitely a growing movement among young people, although I worry the Ron Paul/all taxation is theft wing may do more harm than good. Gary Johnson is a massive improvement over Ron Paul.

  39. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    6. November 2012 at 05:53

    Cameron, that was my question – Scott’s daughter already has right-wing economic views? That’s impressive.

    Becky, most everyone is a libertarian when it comes to not redistributing income from people they meet face to face.

  40. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    6. November 2012 at 05:54

    Sweden is about to shoot itself in the foot (HT Ritwik on Twitter): http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/05/sweden-centralbank-idUSL5E8M1CML20121105

  41. Gravatar of Becky Hargrove Becky Hargrove
    6. November 2012 at 06:06

    Saturos,
    Agreed!

    Cameron,
    I currently live in Ron Paul’s county, and believe me the confusion still runs rampant in an older population, where some actually think that more taxation reduces needed services!

  42. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    6. November 2012 at 06:11

    Saturos, You asked:

    “Come on, did she really reach that conclusion all by herself?”

    Surprisingly, the answer is “yes.” Nature over nurture?

    Saturos, Actually, history shows the voters are far smarter than the intellectuals. If it was up to intellectuals the US would have gone communist in the 1930s. Thank God we did not base our governance on what intellectuals believe.

    As far as Cochrane’s defense of the EC, it doesn’t even pass the laugh test. He seems to think that with a popular vote system rich areas would vote for confiscatory taxes in much larger numbers than they do today. Huh? If we currently had a popular vote system right now and someone proposed an EC, I predict that zero percent of intellectuals would support the idea. People would laugh. It’s utterly idiotic, and I haven’t read a single defense that is even close to being plausible. Does any other country in the world have this system? It’s ex post justification by people trying to be cool by being contrarian. In this case the conventional wisdom is correct.

    And that’s not to mention that it’s silly to argue for a system because it favors the Dems or GOP.

    Negation, You said;

    “There’s a lot to like about Gary Johnson, but you’re right he’s bad on the most important issue, monetary policy.”

    Monetary policy isn’t even close to being the most important issue. The war on drugs is far more important, so is immigration, so is war and peace, so is supply-side policies. Monetary policy never even came up as an issue in the campaign.

    Thanks Simon, But I stopped answering most comments months ago–just not enough time. I still devote almost all my free time to blogging.

    Statsguy, The polls are definitely biased, we all know that. What we don’tknow is how much and which way. Even Krugman recently admitted that you have to deal with both bias and sampling error. I’m also a bit surprised about Romney still being at 30%, I suppose it’s Knightian uncertainty about the extent of bias.

    As far as this morning’s move, odds always tend to move toward the favorite when nothing happens. And nothing happened. That’s because in the lead up to elections there is a 50 -50 chance of an event that moves the election either way. Once you get to election day, that is taken off table.

  43. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    6. November 2012 at 06:18

    Update: On Twitter, Ritwik suggests monetized deficits to reduce private debt levels in Sweden…

    You work it out.

  44. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    6. November 2012 at 06:27

    Saturos, I just got a post up on Sweden. How’s that for quick service?

  45. Gravatar of Afu Afu
    6. November 2012 at 07:07

    God no. Vote for Obama, because of The Supreme Court. It’s that simple.

  46. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    6. November 2012 at 07:10

    Second update: After further discussion, turns out Ritwik just wants to use IOR to manage the debt/GDP ratio. And possibly reserve requirements. What unintended consequences might that have?

  47. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    6. November 2012 at 07:11

    Wow, that’s great Scott. If only you were on Twitter too…

  48. Gravatar of Cthorm Cthorm
    6. November 2012 at 08:06

    Scott – I’m very glad to hear we’re on the same page. A strong showing for libertarians will hopefully encourage more influence for their ideas.

    Morgan – my you are in a tizzy. Remember ‘the deal’? Scott is in a blue state, just like I am, so his vote isn’t hurting the changes of a Romney win (or rather an Obama lose). Ultimately I think Romney will be mildly better on supply side policies than Obama, but Obama will have to act a lot more like Clinton if Congress swings even more Republican. The GOP has done an atrocious job of keeping libertarians in their camp over the last 20 years, especially this year with the Ron Paul campaign. Roger Stone knows this. Can’t you suck it up and admit that hegemony requires a coalition?

  49. Gravatar of Octa Octa
    6. November 2012 at 09:42

    Scott,

    I found Gary Johnson appealing when he was first running for the GOP primary. Since then I’ve lost interest. Monetary policy is a significant issue for me and when it comes to think, I can’t in good faith support a candidate who backs hard money. I don’t know what Johnson’s position on it was before he was nominated as the libertarian candidate, but he definitely made that position more visible once he was I assume to attract Ron Paul supporters. Overall I’m a much more soft libertarian like you(I think you referred to yourself as a right-wing liberal). If Johnson had his way in regards to spending cuts, it would immediately throw us in a depression. No amount of easing would prevent that if he ever adopted that kind of policy.

    And I do disagree about the apolitical vs intellectual voter. I don’t think anyone who who follows politics and isn’t a hardline ideologue would tell you that Democrats are for big government and vice versa. I do live in a swing state and I will be voting democrat since the democrats have had a much better track record in regards to social liberties and being responsible fiscally compared to the GOP. That and Mitt Romney lost whatever chance he had of getting my vote when he came out against QE3.

  50. Gravatar of Cameron Cameron
    6. November 2012 at 09:43

    Saturos,

    I did at that age… but seeing as how I read this blog I’m clearly not normal. :D

  51. Gravatar of Bill Ellis Bill Ellis
    6. November 2012 at 14:15

    Scott says… “If the libertarians ever start stealing 5% or 10% of the votes from one of the two major parties (or both) you can be sure that next time they’ll shift their position closer to the libertarian direction. ”

    The problem for a party moving toward the libertarian’s positions is that it could end up losing them MORE votes on the other end of the spectrum.

    Part of the diastase Americans have for the T-folk, and by extension many in the GOP, is their libertarian leaning.

    Libertarians tend to underestimate how repugnant their positions are to many people. And it is not because people have misconceptions that will evaporate once the day comes when libertarians get to educate them.

    Why does every movement out of power have that same illusion…
    ” If only other people knew what I know…If only they shared my knowledge… If only…we can have a much better world !”
    Anywhere on the spectrum… they all think the same thing. Some things are fundamental about people.

    People fundamentally won’t agree. People fundamentally feel entitled.
    People will warp any system to gain and hold power. Then what is it ?

    What is moderate Libertarianism ?

    Maybe I am a moderate Libertarian ? Maybe Krugman ?
    I am all for free market solutions when they are practicable. Isn’t everyone ?

  52. Gravatar of Bill Ellis Bill Ellis
    6. November 2012 at 14:23

    Scott says…. “Obama will think twice about sending in the Feds to shutdown those medical marijuana clinics in LA.”

    The only reason Obama cracked down on the clinics was because State law enforcement asked him to.

    He left it up to the States like he said he would. Unlike Bush who forced the feds will on the states.

  53. Gravatar of david david
    6. November 2012 at 22:10

    It appears votes for Johnson may have swung two swing states for Obama. Look out, here comes the right’s Nader.

  54. Gravatar of Jason Odegaard Jason Odegaard
    7. November 2012 at 05:45

    Scott, did Morgan Warstler have a bet with you on the election? I don’t follow comments as well as I should, but I hear references to a bet.

  55. Gravatar of Benny Lava Benny Lava
    7. November 2012 at 05:57

    “I think libertarians have replaced conservatives for anyone under 30 or so… social issues, social issues, social issues!”

    Yes I see a lot of this. I think the conservative brand became really toxic to many people. Hence the tea party. But I don’t really see a big shift in ideology, just a rebranding (as with the tea party. Same old conservatives with a different label).

  56. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    7. November 2012 at 06:03

    Saturos:

    Excellent, you’ll just make everybody else’s votes count all the more

    Yes, the minority is trampled on in democracy.

    You sound like you believe you are saying something profound.

  57. Gravatar of Major_Freedom Major_Freedom
    7. November 2012 at 06:07

    Bill Ellis:

    The only reason Obama cracked down on the clinics was because State law enforcement asked him to.

    He left it up to the States like he said he would. Unlike Bush who forced the feds will on the states.

    Bollocks.

    Obama forced his own beliefs and federal agents on the people of the states, by ignoring the state votes and, allegedly, listening to state law enforcement, who disregarded the law of their own states.

    That is no better than Bush.

  58. Gravatar of Andos Andos
    10. November 2012 at 04:25

    To maximize the effect of your vote, vote the better Rep/Dem candidate when the difference is greater than usual and also whenever the difference is not exceptionally small and both candidates are more libertarian than usual.

    This way the candidates always have the incentive to be more Libertarian than the other. If you vote for Libertarians unless there is some unrealistically libertarian major party candidate, the two major parties don’t have any incentive to use a bit more libertarian candidates.

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