Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Tim Harford gets half the dynamic

Undercover Economist: For all its merits, democracy has always had a weakness: on any detailed piece of policy, the typical voter — I include myself here — does not understand what is really at stake and does not care to find out. This is not a slight on voters. It is a recognition of our common sense. Why should we devote hours to studying every policy question that arises? We know the vote of any particular citizen is never decisive. It would be a deluded voter indeed who stayed up all night revising for an election, believing that her vote would be the one to make all the difference.
Government goods are a supply chain.  

The voter desires that his vote, everywhere, keep the supply chain within some bounded variation. The voter is walking the supply chain, keep the plates mostly spinning.  Self adapting statistics make this stable because both the vote and the supply chain adapt, the chain adapting more slowly. The means, proportional and proportioned democracy, the voter has to refresh the tree of liberty, as someone said.

Some numbers?
I think, without a doubt, 65% (probably more)  of economic activity is city contained, so right there is a clue as to your most significant political district. City political districts grow and decay, as required to make the mayors' offices efficient.  Then there are the states, they grow and decay but the district quant is fixed. The state system will jam up, and default; repeat. But, even then, if we understood this as a one color compression, we can try a constitutional bound on variation; say due process, put half the flex into smart contracts.

But it is extremely messy, over time, when the tree is not refreshed.

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