“We’ve all found ourselves at least a few times in our lives listening to friends or relatives complain about voter apathy. If only voters properly researched policies and politicians, everything would be better, we hear. Unfortunately, the incentives just aren’t there.
Anthony Downs called this phenomenon “rational ignorance,” and it is especially significant with government-related decision-making, or “Public Choice.” Economic analysis shows us that the value of the time individuals spend informing themselves must exceed its opportunity cost. Take this into consideration when contemplating the ludicrous probability of a single participant swaying an entire election. There is very little individual upside to justify any significant effort to inform oneself on voting for the “right” solution.”