Ballot box voting is often considered the essence of political freedom. But, it has two major shortcomings: individual voters have little chance of making a difference, and they also face strong incentives to remain ignorant about the issues at stake. “Voting with your feet,” however, avoids both of these pitfalls and offers a wider range of choices.
In Bootleggers & Baptists: How Economic Forces and Moral Persuasion Interact to Shape Regulatory Politics, economists Bruce Yandle and Adam Smith explain how money and morality are often combined in politics to produce arbitrary regulations benefiting cronies, while constraining productive economic activities by the general public. Yandle’s theory asserts that regulatory “bootleggers” are parties taking political action in pursuit of economic gain. Regulatory “Baptists” are parties participating in group action driven by an avowed higher moral purpose or desire to serve the public interest. By examining major regulatory activities including Obamacare, the recent financial crisis bailouts, climate change legislation, and rules governing “sinful” substances, Bootleggers & Baptists reveals that lasting regulations require moral and financial advocacy to survive the American political process. With countless regulatory initiatives on the horizon, this book is a must‐read for all who are concern about over‐regulation and government intrusion in our daily lives.
The dominating theme of political commentary over the past decade has been that we are a nation divided — polarized, red vs. blue, liberal vs. conservative. But millions of American voters don’t fit neatly into liberal and conservative boxes. Squarely in the center of the electorate is a substantial number of voters with the power to decide elections. Who are these voters? What are their beliefs, affiliations and loyalties? The Libertarian Vote: Swing Voters, Tea Parties, and the Fiscally Conservative, Socially Liberal Center reveals that 10 to 20 percent of Americans are fiscally conservative and socially liberal‐libertarian. And over the past decade, unlike loyal Democrats and Republicans, they have been swing voters. They have contributed, for example, to the success of both the tea party and the gay marriage movement. The Libertarian Vote provides some of the most pertinent and authoritative insights available on this substantial block of voters. Candidates and political strategists willing to look more carefully at them may very well discover a large group of voters energetically looking for a home.