|Rational Ignorance vs. Rational Irrationality|
I found this so humorous that I had to share. I shared it w/ my wife and she just sort of looked at me. So maybe no one else will find it funny.
Anyway it's an Economics/Public Choice Theory paper published in Kyklos.
Rational Ignorance vs. Rational Irrationality
Beliefs about politics and religion often have three puzzling properties: systematic bias, high certainty, and little informational basis. ... According to the theory of rational irrationality, being irrational - in the sense of deviating from rational expectations - is a good like any other; the lower the private cost, the more agents buy. A peculiar feature of beliefs about politics, religion, etc. is that ... the private cost of irrationality [is] zero...
Published in Kyklos 54(1), 2001, pp.3-26.
I rolled and rolled. It's only funny because it sounds so true. It provides some wholesome food for thought.
I guess not every political junkie finds public choice theory fascinating. But they should. I mean, in re politics, it's the functional equivalent of material engineering to literal nuts and bolts. It's what makes up the nuts and bolts of politics.
Here a link to some more of Caplan's work: Academic Economics
EconLog Issues and insights in economics Edited by Arnold Kling and Bryan Caplan