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Gerrymandering encourages social liberalism

Summary:
That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column, here is one excerpt: For instance, if you are a Democrat who is strongly pro-abortion rights, gerrymandering might be very much in your interests. That’s because the sharp polarization of today’s politics favors a lot of outcomes that are either the status quo or are easier to implement and enforce. That can favor social liberalism. Note that many Republican representatives don’t actually want strong legal enforcement of the toughest social conservative positions — can you really imagine the government trying women for murder if they try to have abortions? Whether you like it or not, American society seems to have hit on a pretty comfortable equilibrium — comfortable for our elected representatives that is. Democrats will strongly support

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That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column, here is one excerpt:

For instance, if you are a Democrat who is strongly pro-abortion rights, gerrymandering might be very much in your interests. That’s because the sharp polarization of today’s politics favors a lot of outcomes that are either the status quo or are easier to implement and enforce. That can favor social liberalism.

Note that many Republican representatives don’t actually want strong legal enforcement of the toughest social conservative positions — can you really imagine the government trying women for murder if they try to have abortions?

Whether you like it or not, American society seems to have hit on a pretty comfortable equilibrium — comfortable for our elected representatives that is. Democrats will strongly support liberal positions on social issues, and the Republicans will stake out more conservative positions. And Republicans will tolerate the Democrats getting their way for the most part. You can debate whether this mix is what a majority of voters want or should want, but it is the easiest outcome for us to agree upon.

Do read the whole thing.

The post Gerrymandering encourages social liberalism appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

Tyler Cowen
Tyler Cowen is an American economist, academic, and writer. He occupies the Holbert C. Harris Chair of economics as a professor at George Mason University and is co-author, with Alex Tabarrok, of the popular economics blog Marginal Revolution. Cowen and Tabarrok have also ventured into online education by starting Marginal Revolution University. He currently writes the "Economic Scene" column for the New York Times, and he also writes for such publications as The New Republic, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Newsweek, and the Wilson Quarterly.

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