Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Free Trade Politicians

The Cato Institute provides information about how our politicians line up in Washington CONCERNING FREE TRADE issues. The 3 Senators still in the hunt to be our next President are clearly different on free trade issues based upon their voting records in the Senate. Senator McCain is characterized as a Free Trader, while the 2 Senators on the democrat side appear to be Interventionists.

I've looked at 21 Senators so far, and all the Free Traders are republicans: McCain, Allard, Lugar, Voinovich, and Kyl.

In Colorado, Senator Allard is a Free Trader, while Senator Salazar is between an Interventionist and an Internationalist. Since 1986 (when I moved to Colorado) I think it has been traditional for the voters to elect a Republican Senator and a Democrat Senator. You might expect when voters elect a Senator from each party that the senators would have similar voting records on important issues such as trade. But, Colorado seems not to have done that, and Indiana (another state with a Democrat and a Republican senator) also has a Free Trader (Lugar) and an Interventionist-Internationalist (Bayh). What do you suppose this means with respect to voter preferences? Could this be consistent with voter irrationality, which Bryan Caplan emphasizes in The Myth of the Rational Voter? Or, could this be consistent with the standard assumption of public choice that voters choose to be rationally ignorant?

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