Using Our Reading on Anthony Downs for a Class Discussion on the Structure of Institutions

Decent Essays

In this weeks Anthony Downs reading we were able to use the knowledge we have gained about the structure of institutions so far from our discussions and texts and apply it to voting in politics. In “An Economic Theory of Democracy” Downs focused on the calculus behind voting and voter turnout to draw the conclusion that there is no point in voting. When Downs was explaining the reasoning behind voting he spoke of the utility income that the government provides to us; these benefits of utilities are the incentives that should determine the way that we vote and show its importance. Using the idea of looking to maximize utilities to determine how you vote was a fascinating idea to me and make me question he inefficiencies that exist in voting today that cause people to vote based on different reasons. So the irrational ways we base our voting decisions on (instead of utility) is what I primarily focus on as these voting habits show how citizens vote off superficial issues, not campaign platforms.
If we are going to pay the costs of spending our time to go cast a vote, register, understand the candidate options, and pay for the gas to drive to the poles it makes sense to make the best choice you possibly can; to do so Downs recommends voting for the candidate that will provide you the most utility. I think Downs should have also included something about the benefit to society as too much personal interest and a lack of common concern will lead to personal benefit being

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