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So far it may seem to you that Americans went crazy and they are only mocking the system at this point, but it's not like that. There are serious tools these candidates are using when arguing their opinions and as an economist I wanted to do further research on this matter and attempt to answer some questions.
Public choice theory is one of studies within economics that studies large scale decision making processes and, somewhat logically election processes are one of those. Theory suggests that each voter does not vote rationally, meaning they do not vote for the best candidate for the country, but for the one that stands for their needs/wishes. Consequentially, they tend to be bias toward certain options and here are 4 main biases:
Anti-market bias:No matter what changes in the economy happen markets will adjust to that. For example, if wage levels increase, more people will be willing to work but companies would like to minimize their costs hence they will decrease their labor demand, which potentially increases unemployment. People tend to ignore this notion, assuming that increasing wages brings benefits to them.
Anti-foreign bias:Immigration is not a bad thing. It increases competitiveness in the markets and gives incentives to people to work harder. However, general opinion is usually formed under racist, nationalistic, culturally motivated and quasi-economic reasons.
Pessimistic bias:People tend to underestimate economic growth. In every day life, you must have heard people complaining how they used to live better before. This nostalgic approach towards the past often influences public knowledge of economic performance. Gross products of countries are increasing, some slower than others, but in absence of some disaster (financial crisis, natural catastrophe) GDP is growing.
Okay, fine, we just pointed out some economic theory, but how is it related to the Zodiac Killer, the Comrade, that one with small hands and Bill's wife. Well, they based their campaign on the target groups that share similar biases.