Last Sunday, I read an interesting article in The New York Times Magazine about voting and about incentives to vote. Click here for a link. It was written by STEPHEN J. DUBNER and STEVEN D. LEVITT who are the authors of the popular book Freakonomics. Basically they point out something I have discussed with Econ professors in school before. What are the incentives to vote? As Levitt and Dubner point out, there is little individual incentive other than responding to social pressures. People vote more because they feel they should than because they can actually matter to the outcome of the election with their one vote.
However, one thing that Levitt doesnt get into is how groups can gain political power by voting. And while on an individual level, it might be pressure from the group that gets one into the voting booth, there is no way to deny that groups that are able to get their members out to vote have quite a lot of power *as groups* in the political arena. I can think of several cohesive groups that are able to get their people to the polls and those votes do change things.
And if I were a politician, I have to admit that when making policy I might consider the wants of the mega-church which can get its members to the polls over the wants of Economists who apparently as a group dont go to the polls ;) I'm just sayin..
Speaking of politics and how groups can change things: well...I think all of those churches who make up the religious right and who are so good at getting their folks to the polls certainly have something to celebrate in Alito. The guy is way to conservative for my tastes. So...if you are like me and want to show that you just dont want the guy, feel free to visit my friend Trace's blog (http://traceminerals.blogspot.com/ for a lot of useful suggestions about what a person can do. And while you're at it, take a look at her anti-Alito cafepress store. http://www.cafepress.com/no2alito. It is all kinds of fun, I promise.