Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Low information voters

That's most of us, about most issues. Uwe Reinhardt, eminence gris of health economics,  says no, Jonathan Gruber, voters aren't stupid, but they don't know much. That's because:

  • Public policy isn't actually all that easy;
  • They don't have time;
  • Those with more resources actively mislead.
But you knew that. The problem is that his blog post won't help much, because it's complicated, it take a long time to read, and it's just a blog post, it isn't being pushed at you on Faux News. Oh well.

Go ahead and read it if you want to become a higher information voter, but I will pull out one takeaway, which has to do with tax expenditures. Stephen Brill is going around saying that the taxpayers can't afford the ACA, what with its subsidies for moderate income people and free insurance for the lazy moochers who work at Walmart, but in fact, the government already spends billions on subsidized health insurance for the well-to-do in the form of tax free employer-provided insurance. The tax break is worth much more to the rich than to the poor, which is of course the whole idea. But it's invisible.

Just one nugget among many.

No comments: