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Creating a person with no company via API relates them to the most recently created company. How to upload files companies, contact, Republican, representative democracy tries to split the difference. Checks and balances, judicial reviews, bills of rights and elected representatives are all designed to hold leaders accountable to the people while also constraining the foolishness of the ignorant masses. Overall, these institutions work well: in general, people in democracies have the highest standards of living.

But what if we could do better? Consider an alternative political system called epistocracy. Epistocracies retain the same institutions as representative democracies, including imposing liberal constitutional limits on power, bills of rights, checks and balances, elected representatives and judicial review. But while democracies give every citizen an equal right to vote, epistocracies apportion political power, by law, according to knowledge or competence.

Political decisions are high stakes, and democracies entrust some of these high-stakes decisions to the ignorant and incompetent.


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Democracies tend to pass laws and policies that appeal to the median voter, yet the median voter would fail Econ, History, Sociology, and Poli Sci Empirical work generally shows that voters would support different policies if they were better informed. Voters tend to mean well, but voting well takes more than a kind heart.

It requires tremendous social scientific knowledge: knowledge that most citizens lack. Most voters know nothing, but some know a great deal, and some know less than nothing.

There are many ways of instituting epistocracy, some of which would work better than others. For instance, an epistocracy might deny citizens the franchise unless they can pass a test of basic political knowledge. They might give every citizen one vote, but grant additional votes to citizens who pass certain tests or obtain certain credentials.

They might pass all laws through normal democratic means, but then permit bands of experts to veto badly designed legislation. For instance, a board of economic advisors might have the right to veto rent-control laws, just as the Supreme Court can veto laws that violate the Constitution. Or, an epistocracy might allow every citizen to vote at the same time as requiring them to take a test of basic political knowledge and submit their demographic information.

A major question is what counts and who decides what counts as political competence, or basic political knowledge.

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One might use widely accepted pre-existing tests; the Unites States citizenship test, for example, or the same questions that the American National Election Studies have used for 60 years. These questions — who is the current president? Which item is the largest part of the federal budget? O ne common objection to epistocracy — at least among political philosophers — is that democracy is essential to expressing the idea that everyone is equal.

On its face, this is a strange claim. Democracy is a political system, not a poem or a painting.

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Yet people treat the right to vote like a certificate of commendation, meant to show that society regards you as a full member of the national club. But we could instead view the franchise as no more significant than a plumbing or medical licence. Others object that the equal right to vote is essential to make government respond to our interests.

In most major elections, I have as much chance of making a difference as I do of winning the lottery. How we vote matters, but how any one of us votes, or even whether one votes, makes no difference. Hence the worry that epistocracies will favour the interests of some groups over others. But this worry might be overstated.