Monday, October 22, 2007

Why The System Is Broken

Here's a little something I stumbled across. While I often disagree with libertarians like those at Reason on many things, I rarely disagree with them on everything. Here's the bit of this argument that I like most:

"If you don't know what you're talking about," South Park co-creator Matt Stone recently told Rolling Stone, "there's no shame in not voting." The comment upset actor-activist Sean Penn, who scolded Stone for "not mentioning the shame of not knowing what you're talking about."

When it comes to politics, Americans who don't know what they're talking about have a lot of company. In fact, as George Mason University law professor Ilya Somin shows in a Cato Institute paper published last month, they represent a majority of voters.

Somin reviews survey data from the 1950s on that indicate "most individual voters are abysmally ignorant of even very basic political information." Furthermore, "a relatively stable level of extreme ignorance has persisted" despite rising education levels and increased availability of information.
The rest of the article fleshes out those assertions somewhat and then devolves into some personal whining that injures an otherwise strong point.

Of course, The Onion already knew that:
Poll: Bullshit Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters

And speaking of Parker and Stone, I haven't seen Idiocracy, but this little clip from it makes me think it's worth a gander: