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Award-winning author Philip K. Howard lays out the blueprint for a new American society. In this brief and powerful book, Philip K. Howard attacks the failed ideologies of both parties and proposes a radical simplification of government to re-empower Americans in their daily choices. Nothing will make sense until people are free to roll up their sleeves and make things work. The first steps are to abandon the philosophy of correctness and our devotion to mindless compliance. Americans are a practical people. They want government to be practical. Washington can’t do anything practically. Worse, its bureaucracy prevents Americans from doing what’s sensible. Conservative bluster won’t fix this problem. Liberal hand-wringing won’t work either. Frustrated voters reach for extremist leaders, but they too get bogged down in the bureaucracy that has accumulated over the past century. Howard shows how America can push the reset button and create simpler frameworks focused on public goals where officials—prepare for the shock—are actually accountable for getting the job done.
The greatest obstacle to sound economic policy is not entrenched special interests or rampant lobbying, but the popular misconceptions, irrational beliefs, and personal biases held by ordinary voters. This is economist Bryan Caplan's sobering assessment in this provocative and eye-opening book. Caplan argues that voters continually elect politicians who either share their biases or else pretend to, resulting in bad policies winning again and again by popular demand. Boldly calling into question our most basic assumptions about American politics, Caplan contends that democracy fails precisely because it does what voters want. Through an analysis of Americans' voting behavior and opinions on a range of economic issues, he makes the convincing case that noneconomists suffer from four prevailing biases: they underestimate the wisdom of the market mechanism, distrust foreigners, undervalue the benefits of conserving labor, and pessimistically believe the economy is going from bad to worse. Caplan lays out several bold ways to make democratic government work better--for example, urging economic educators to focus on correcting popular misconceptions and recommending that democracies do less and let markets take up the slack. The Myth of the Rational Voter takes an unflinching look at how people who vote under the influence of false beliefs ultimately end up with government that delivers lousy results. With the upcoming presidential election season drawing nearer, this thought-provoking book is sure to spark a long-overdue reappraisal of our elective system.
First Published in 2004. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
Experiences of family life can differ widely throughout society. So, can we still rely on one traditional definition of the family? And what can sociology teach us about the role and importance of the family in today's world? This new edition examines the core sociological concepts that help us to understand how and why families and households are changing. With thorough chapters that are organised around crucial topics and debates, this book: • Outlines and critiques traditional definitions of the family • Assesses shifting patterns of marriage, cohabitation and divorce • Highlights how gender roles and relationships are changing within the family • Explores what birth rates and family size can tell us about our society Part of the Skills-based Sociology series, this student-friendly text encourages readers to put their understanding into practice through a variety of useful tasks, activities and mock exam questions. It is an essential study and revision resource for all those new to family sociology.

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