Consistent Paternalists Should Back Restrictions on Voters, Too

Source: The Volokh Conspiracy
by Ilya Somin

“Over the last twenty years or so, a vast academic literature has arisen, attempting to justify various paternalistic policies on the grounds that cognitive biases lead consumers to make systematic mistakes. Even before then, such policies as the War on Drugs and restrictions on smoking were justified in part by claims that shortsighted irrationality would otherwise lead people to make foolish choices they would later regret. In a notable new article, political philosophers Jason Brennan and Christopher Freiman argue that supporters of such policies must, if they wish to be consistent, also take a paternalistic approach towards voting decisions. After all, voters are prone to cognitive biases as much as consumers — perhaps even more.” (05/01/22)