IQ tests for voters? ‘Myth of the Rational Voter’ has reader agreeing


Letter to the Editor 

To the editor:

In the May 16 letter headlined “Reader objects to IQ tests for voting, but maybe for letters to editor,” D. Henrich harshly criticizes B. Korbesmeyer’s previous letter to the editor.

According to D. Henrich’s letter, B. Korbesmeyer’s suggestion was requiring IQ tests for voters.

Having no other information, I can only surmise B. Korbesmeyer’s additional thoughts and opinions.

The book titled “The Myth of the Rational Voter” by Bryan Caplan was required reading in my recent Current Economic Analysis master’s class at Webster University.

Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times, named it “the best political book this year.”

The rational voter assumption is part of a consensus view of economists, and Bryan Caplan’s responsibility as a naysayer is to refute it, which is why he wrote the book.

Caplan questions the reader, “Would we still have a ‘democracy’ if you needed to pass a test of economic literacy to vote? Or you needed a college degree?”

He goes on to say, “A test of voter competence is no more objectionable than a driving test. Both bad driving and bad voting are dangerous not merely to the individual who practices them, but to innocent bystanders.”

I recommend this book to both of these gentlemen. I’m with Bryan Caplan.

Marce Bridgewater