The importance of voting with your feet

Professor Somin highlights an importan issue in the federalism model of U.S. governance that has implications for those who dismiss the U.S. Constitution as outdated and lacking the inclusion of obligatory rights. Foot Voting, Political Ignorance, and Constitutional Design

“one major possible advantage of building decentralization and limited government into a constitution has been largely ignored in the debate so far: its potential for reducing the costs of widespread political ignorance. The argument of this paper is simple, but has potentially important implications: Constitutional federalism enables citizens to “vote with their feet,” and foot voters have much stronger incentives to make well-informed decisions than more conventional ballot box voters.”

In other words, if you can’t make headway at the ballot box because of all the idiots voting for the wrong candidates, you can move to another state where the voters appear to be more in line with the way you think.

You can see this phenomenon every ten years when the Census releases its count. It is also evident in those who promise to leave the country if the wrong candidate is elected President. That last idea, voting with the feet based on who is President, is another way of saying that the federal government is too important in personal affairs. It is an argument to reduce the powers and scope of the federal government and that debate is one that is at the top of the heap in these times.

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