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The Book

Good Intentions—Bad Consequences

Good Intentions—Bad Consequences presents a new approach to understanding voter choice with important implications. There is a substantial class of voters who would like to do “good” but ignore important consequences of their attempts to do so—naïve altruists.

This book both shows why such a class exists and tests the implications of that group’s behavior in a setting where other voters are self-interested, others are traditionalists, and imitation plays a big role in voter choice. This book also looks at the policy implications of such behavior accepting as desirable, but not fully achievable, the democratic ideal in which sufficiently informed citizens are given equal weight in political choices.

Naïve altruists ignore the anti-growth consequences of redistribution from the rich as a class to the poor as a class. That ignorance produces too much of that redistribution in terms of the democratic ideal.