Home > Uncategorized > Why did the Brexit polls get it so wrong?

Why did the Brexit polls get it so wrong?

June 24, 2016

The Brexit vote was a huge deal, both politically and economically. Tons of polls have been telling us for weeks that’s it’d be a close contest, but since the murder of Jo Cox’s, they had mostly been pointing one way: namely, to a Remain win.

To be clear, lots of people said it was too close to call, but the bulk of yesterday’s evidence said that Remain would win by 52% to 48%, with a margin of error of around 2%. The actual results were the opposite, Remain lost by 48% to 52%.

Stock markets can also embed beliefs, and in this case they definitely seemed to think Britain would vote to remain in the EU. For that matter, there were plenty of betting markets that allowed people to bet directly on the vote, and as of yesterday the odds were steeply in favor of Remain. Even the early exit polls pointed to Remain.

So, why did all the polls get it so wrong? I have no more information that anyone else, but I have some purely unsubstantiated, backwards-looking guesses:

  1. Older people are much more likely to vote, and they also tended to vote Leave.
  2. People who voted to Leave cared more about the issue.
  3. People lie in polls, and given that the Leave campaign was being accused of racism, it’s maybe easier to lie towards Remain than the other way around. Also could be a reason that more “undecided” voters were secretly planning to vote Leave but didn’t want to say it out loud.
  4. People might have actually put money in the betting markets, including the financial markets, that have nothing to do with their belief of the outcome but rather represents a hedge for another position.
  5. As for the exit polls, they are easier to take in cities, where there are a lot of people, but where there also tend to be more “Remain” voters.

What do you think? Here’s some demographic info from the Guardian that may or may not help:

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 7.02.05 AM.png

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. June 24, 2016 at 7:27 am

    There are logistical reasons why polling in general is so poor these days, but I do think you’re right that #3 above is another big factor. People just lie (more than ever before)! The resentment against authority in any form (Government, media, academic, corporate, etc.) is widespread, and people just enjoy screwing with authority any chance they get.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. June 24, 2016 at 7:31 am

    They were only 2% outside the margin of error. On an issue that correlates with demographics and so is likely to give biased samples by any technique, I think that’s pretty good.

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    • June 24, 2016 at 7:36 am

      On that subject, it rained very heavily in some key Remain areas such as London, and was a beautiful day in more Leave-inclining areas. I’ve heard it suggested that that may have had a significant effect on the outcome.

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      • June 24, 2016 at 7:48 am

        Wow, that’s crazy but plausible.

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        • A. Nony Mouse
          June 24, 2016 at 10:15 am

          Similar old idea in U.S., sunny weather is Democrat weather.

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        • davetweed
          June 25, 2016 at 8:11 am

          Note that in some areas it wasn’t just “wet” but wet enough to get flooding and fallen trees which stopped trains and underground services in certain areas. It wasn’t clear if ifis had a significant effect on people finding time in their workday to get to their polling station.

          Like

  3. June 24, 2016 at 7:35 am

    I’m not sure about the lying argument. The country was very polarized, with whole areas where people felt that everybody was on one side. I’d have thought that people planning to vote Remain in a strongly Leave area would have felt tempted to lie, as a result of peer pressure, in much the same way as people planning to vote Leave in a Remain area. Yes, Leave voters were accused of racism, but Remain voters were accused of being metropolitan elites who were out of touch with decent, ordinary people.

    I’m not saying that the explanation is definitely wrong — just that it could be.

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  4. June 24, 2016 at 8:30 am

    I agree with #3. We have the same problem here in the US. Polls for the longest time put Trump as something to not worry about, then he beat all his rivals.

    Accusing people of being racist or bigots because they support a certain person or certain agenda has, it seems, become a new form of bullying. I can see why the working class in Britain voted for the exit. It’s not racism, it’s economics. As more immigrants come in, supply and demand regarding the labor pool kicks in and wages go down. Also, it’s easier for companies in Britain to ship jobs to other countries in the EU (or outside the EU) where labor is cheaper. The same is true here in the USA. Yes, Trump is a moron, but he has tapped into a hidden anger among the working class that has been boiling for a long, long time. The people who support Trump aren’t bigots or racists, they just want their jobs back. They are willing to put up with Trump’s stupidity if it means giving the middle finger to the Republican party who has done nothing but lie to them and allow their jobs to be shipped over seas for the past 30 years – much of it starting with NAFTA. And I feel the same way. The working class in Britain just want their jobs back and they want their wages back. The academics and the city folk in London who have government jobs, University jobs, or are high up the corporate ladder don’t have to worry about getting laid off or the labor side of supply and demand. And being in the EU does benefit them. But Joe Plumber is the one getting screwed and they don’t seem to get it.

    Interestingly enough, just like here in the USA, calling these working class people names like bigot or racist just pisses them off more and further cements their will.

    I would also say that the calling people racist and bigot needs to come under control. I ride a Harley, sometimes wear colors, and am a white male. I’m a biker; therefore, I’m must be a racist is the logic of some. However, our club has several African Americans and Latinos as members. Some of our officers are Latino. Yet, I’m racist. Gotta love it.

    Calling people names is starting to have negative consequences such as closing off the dialog and discussion needed between opposing sides to solve issues. We should get into the spirit of learning to work with those we disagree with again and understanding their side of the fence, rather than just putting them down.

    James

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    • RTG
      June 24, 2016 at 12:22 pm

      I think it’s a bit more complex than that…though I agree with your underlying premise that the attraction of Trump (and Brexit) is jobs and the economy. But that’s coupled with the narrative that these things are issues due to unchecked immigration, which oversimplifies things considerably. There are a lot of factors, including global manufacturing competition and mechanization that would have reduced job growth in semi-skilled sectors regardless of NAFTA. In some ways, actually, Mexico fared worse because US agriculture got privileged entry into its markets, eliminating jobs there. In addition, there is some thinking that US fiscal policy, in particular high deficits, led to higher returns on bonds etc making the risk of investing in capital infrastructure like new factories less attractive. Obviously that’s less true now, but it’s too late to turn the clock back.

      Similar factors are at work in the UK. It’s really hard to say what will happen, since it seems unlikely that the UK can be a self-sustaining economy that simply consumes everything it produces…wasn’t the need for external inputs and outputs the whole reason behind the UK’s 18th and 19th Century empire-building in the first place? The UK will need access to foreign markets, and the EU represents a pretty ideal one, so it will have to negotiate that access from a weakened position (I suspect the UK needs the EU more than the EU needs it).

      The racism/bigotry narrative in all of this is that the voters seem most willing to blame their economic woes on low-skill immigrants than any of the other factors that are also contributing to their degraded economic status. For a few years before Brexit and Trump, a lot of economists have been worrying about income inequality and the shift toward service-based economies in the developed world…the fact that the populist parties all seem to have a strong anti-immigrant bent does not mean that the reasoning is correct, it just means it’s easier to stoke tribalism when people are scared.

      Liked by 1 person

      • June 24, 2016 at 7:25 pm

        Low-skill immigrants are not the only thing, but they are a big part of it – much bigger than many are willing to give it credit for. What I’m seeing is so many willing to call entire segments – up to half in the case of UK – of the population racist rather than take a hard look at the economic case behind it all.

        Warsaw, NC
        Kenansville, NC
        Wallace, NC
        Mt. Olive, NC

        These are all small towns in my home state. I am very familiar with these towns as they are all no more than a 45 minute drive from each other and I grew up in one of them. These small towns have a great deal of Trump support because the working class/middle class people there have mostly lost their jobs. Sonoco once had a plastic bag making facility in Mt. Olive – closed down in 2003. Boling once had a furniture plant in Mt. Olive – closed down in the late 90’s. I spent my early twenties working in the Guilford East textile plant located in Kenansville and the Sonoco plant. These jobs paid up to $11.50 an hour in the 90’s and that was considered damn good money. The work was hard manual labor in a facility that could easily be up to 120 degrees in the Summer time. The then plant manager of the Sonoco plant refused to purchase a new chiller for the mezzanine area of the plant until the ambulance showed up one day to take a worker to the hospital for heat stroke. I know this because I was there the night it happened. That son of a bitch then had the balls to walk around annoyed at losing his bonus because he spent a quarter million getting a new 40 ton chiller purchased and installed which wiped out the maintenance budget.

        The problem is that as more immigrants moved in they needed jobs as well. That rapidly depressed wages. The Sonoco plant didn’t even give a cost of living raise for about three years (96 – 99) because they didn’t have to. For every person pissed off there were 50 more at the unemployment office ready to take his or her place. So while it may be pointed out that the immigrants are low skilled, what needs to be realized is that most of the jobs available in these small towns are low skill jobs.

        I also distinctly remember going to the local Piggly Wiggly grocery store and watching as a line of illegal immigrants that went all the way out the door and down the side of the building waited their turn at the Western Union station to send money to Mexico. Of course, that allowed more to come over as they could now afford the trip.

        The biggest problem in communicating all of this is that so many people that live in big cities like Charlotte, NC and Atlanta, GA where jobs and gigantic colleges abound have a hard time grasping the concept that one or two manufacturing facilities could be the ENTIRE INCOME of three or four small towns clustered together. Whether a job is lost because there is so much competition for few jobs among so many or because the company moves operations over seas, the way us simple red necks see it is that those people took our jobs and now we are broke. And so many have a hard time with the notion that after our parents and grand parents poured their life and souls into these old factories, just like we are now, that others who have no skin in the game and didn’t grow up here can now walk in today and take all we worked for and walk out tomorrow along with tons of government benefits that are not available to us – those that live here.

        There are real reasons why the Brexit happened and why Trump is so popular once everyone stops the name calling and takes a real drive through one of these once busy small towns. Remember, most of the UK stay camp was in big cities while most of the leave camp was in small towns. Most of the Trump supporters are in small towns while most of the Hillary supporters are in big cities. Coincidence? I think not.

        JamesNT

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        • June 25, 2016 at 8:29 am

          How do we fix this problem?

          Like

        • ML
          June 25, 2016 at 6:12 pm

          From your earlier comments, it sounds like you and I might have some political differences. So in the spirit of the dialogue you called for, I have a question. It has more to do with the points you made about immigrants in the U.S. than the vote in Britain. As I understand it, the U.S. obtained some of its territory as a result of invading and going to war with Mexico back in the 1800s. I think Mexico did “hand over” these territories as part of a treaty but it was a treaty after they were invaded. I bring this up because I assume, but you can correct me if I’m wrong, some of the immigrants you spoke about were from Mexico. And obviously Trump has spoken a lot about Mexicans. Here’s the question: do you think the U.S, owes any special consideration to Mexican immigrants, given that Utah, Nevada, California, etc. were arguably taken from Mexico as “the spoils of war”? This is a complicated question, complicated enough that I don’t fully know my own answer to it.

          Even if someone thinks the answer is “yes,” which is certainly where I lean, I’m not clear on what form this special consideration would take. For example, would it apply to both undocumented immigrants (or, as others prefer to call them, illegal immigrants) and documented ones or just to documented ones? And would any kind of special consideration to Mexican immigrants be fair to those you spoke about, who lost their jobs to immigrants, given that they weren’t alive in the 1800s when Mexico was invaded?

          Although I’m no historian, based on what I’ve read I think it’s fair to say that the U.S. did invade Mexico and turn parts of it into the U.S. It seems to me that, when it comes to the debate/discussion about Mexican immigration, this history should at the very least be a part of that debate in order to see if it has any relevance to how we might fairly resolve it. Maybe it doesn’t have any relevance to deciding what’s fair. But I think we should at least consider whether it does.

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        • June 26, 2016 at 12:49 pm

          I don’t have an answer to your question, nor do I remember the background of the war, but I have a question for you. How far back should it matter? 100 years? 200 years? 500 years? 2000 years? Should all of Europe go back to borders from 1000 years ago? Should Israel revert to the way it was when Mark Twain visited? Or should it revert to the borders of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judea? How about the Soviet Union and Ukraine? I realize this is all off topic, but you raise a very important question.

          Like

        • June 26, 2016 at 5:20 pm

          @Cathy:

          Thank you for asking. Before I answer, we note that my degree is computer science. I am not a sociologist, politician (as evidenced by my ability to walk out into direct sunlight) or other person with qualifications to answer this question. However, I’ll give it my best shot.

          The damage is already done. Despite what Trump may say, the jobs that have left are simply not coming back. No one is going to be willing to pay the increased price of items that are suddenly made here again – especially when the $15 per hour minimum wage kicks in. Furthermore, most of the people in these small towns are not college educated. When I worked for Sonoco deploying a new maintenance and spare parts management program I ran across 5 maintenance men in the 6 facilities I visited that were illiterate. And two of them were electricians. It would take years to educate these people to the level needed for them to be productive in today’s economy – and that’s assuming you can convince a bunch of > 55 year old men and women who barely graduated high school (and that’s 1970’s/1980’s small town high school) and haven’t had to do algebra since to start taking college courses (the average age of these small towns is going up as their children are growing up and abandoning them – hence the rise of companies you’ve seen that specialize in finding heirs to abandoned estates).

          Also, as RTG mentioned, automation is on its way. I know this more than anyone here as I’m one of the nerds making some of it. The autonomous car alone with destroy millions of jobs. That’s why Uber doesn’t care about treating its employ…..uhh….contractors decently. Uber already has plans to dump them. So what few jobs are left will be gone.

          The only real solution I see to all this is the one solution no one seems to like. The United States will have to come up with a plan to begin phasing in the Universal Basic Income. No more welfare, no more having to worry about the rat race – an unconditional deposit of $2500 per adult and $650 per child into the family checking account every month. No more. No less. And that’s just a stepping stone: Eventually, money itself will need to be deprecated and become obsolete.

          I see no other way for any of this to happen. And, as if things couldn’t get more fun, the UBI comes with its own problems so I hope no one is looking for a silver bullet.

          Silver bullets exist in only one place and that’s the movies. And only then where werewolves are concerned.

          JamesNT

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        • June 26, 2016 at 5:56 pm

          Interesting. The $15 minimum wage is killing jobs. We can at least agree on that.

          As someone older than 55, I think you cannot generalize about all older workers. Some are happy just to find work, even if it pays less than before or if it requires learning new skills. To think otherwise is known as ageism.

          Like

        • June 26, 2016 at 5:37 pm

          @ML

          Before getting started, I would like to thank you for your well thought out question and for not attacking me outright. I look forward to many good exchanges with you.

          I am not a “sins of the father” kind of person. Yes, the US obtained some real-estate long ago by either buying it on the cheap or by fighting for it. But there is simply nothing we can do to make any of it right today. Yes, we can send some money out but there is no guarantee that anyone who receives that money will be happy and not ask for more. Furthermore, good luck trying to convince today’s college graduates who have to find a job, pay off student loans, find a new place to live, and replace the car they bought back in high school that we are going to send even more of their tax dollars over to another country that we supposedly wronged 200 years ago when there is no assurance their forefathers had anything to do with it. So, no, I don’t believe we owe Mexico anything. We need to do a better job of getting along with other countries today, no doubt about it, but it’s tough to make right things that happened so long ago. That’s a polite way of saying you aren’t going to make everyone happy so why bother trying.

          Lastly, when looking at the history of any given country, you’ll find somewhere where that country screwed someone over sometime in their past. Maybe it was the country next door, maybe it was their own people. Make no mistake – everyone has at least some blood on their hands. However, at long last we finally have the technology and mindset to establish lasting relationships with countries that were former enemies or still are (there may be some exceptions to that – ISIS comes to mind). And, thanks to Ham radio and the Internet, ordinary people are at long last making relationships with other ordinary people in other countries. That alone is breaking down walls.

          We should focus on the future and make things right by being a better friend today rather than trying to write checks for things that happened in the past.

          JamesNT

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        • June 26, 2016 at 6:15 pm

          @abekohen,

          I am not generalizing about all older workers. I’m talking about the older workers who live in small towns who have had a lifetime of working in factories on those hard cement floors that WEAR YOUR FEET OUT despite having $300 steel toe shoes on that try to cushion the blow as much as possible.

          These are simple people who want their simple times back. And they are NOT happy to just find work even if it pays less. The fact that their factory jobs with their ESOP and 401k programs and healthcare are gone or have been outsourced and have been replaced with low paying service jobs is why Trump is popular. It’s why Brexit happened. You must wrap your head around this.

          Remember, I grew up as one of those simple people. I spent 10 years of my life working nightshift (11pm to 7am) at a couple of those factories. I still go to family reunions where there’s lots good old country food and sweet tea that tastes damn good but you can feel your arteries hardening every other bite. My great aunt still cooks with lard for Heaven’s sake. These people are getting older, more sickly, and you should just hear the way they talk about politics. You think I’m different? You haven’t heard anything yet.

          I’m not practicing ageism – I’m stating what I know from experience and have seen with my own eyes throughout my life.

          JamesNT

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    • Mike Farrell
      June 25, 2016 at 4:50 am

      Wrong. Polls in the US from start to finish had Trump in the lead-it’s just that media commentators chose to ignore what was right in front of them almost to the end

      Like

      • June 26, 2016 at 5:22 pm

        Thank you for the correction. And for confirming what we already know: The media is not to be trusted. 🙂

        Like

  5. June 24, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Soon as David Beckham publically endorsed Remaining I had no further use for polls. Same as when Wayne Gretzky publically endorsed the Conservative Party as they made their way down the drain in Canada.

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  6. June 24, 2016 at 11:23 am

    There have been similar claims (to #1) regarding Bernie Sanders in California. Also, there’s the whole “getting people to the polls” thing as part of the actual campaign. When I was in college, I was part of an operation that first canvassed neighborhoods, and then sent cars to areas where there were many supporters, to give people rides to the polls. I haven’t seen this sort of thing mentioned as part of “ground operations” in discussions of it.

    I’m with Gowers — I don’t see much of a Bradley effect (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradley_effect) of people being ashamed to admit their Leave preference, since they seem to have been living surrounded by other people with the same view.

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  7. June 24, 2016 at 11:46 am

    I have no insight into the issue itself or why the polls missed the mark, but the following article from Naked Capitalism seems represent what the more thoughtful Leavers among my FB BritFriends seem to be saying.

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/06/brexit-the-crisis-begins.html

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  8. Nels
    June 24, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    There were no exit polls.

    I find this all kind of interesting. I guess I must read different sources, but no commentators I was paying attention to thought this was a sure thing for Remain. The polls had been highly mixed in the weeks leading up to the vote. It seems reasonable to me that polls would shade a bit towards Remain after the obviously Leave-rhetoric-inspired murder of Jo Cox. But that doesn’t strike me as any different than the temporary poll bump Trump got when he secured the nomination. As far as I understand, online polls in which respondents don’t have to face an interviewer, leaned towards Leave. There was a large percentage of undecideds up to the end. There was a large surge in new voter registration, but it was unclear a priori if that was due to poorer people registering to vote Leave or younger people registering to vote remain. And finally, Scotland was a secure Remain vote in every authority. Unfortunately for them, unlike with our electoral college system where it really doesn’t matter if I go vote in MA (although I do), their low turnout hurt the absolute totals.

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  9. June 24, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    I think that the late poll (same day) claiming that Remain was a lock to win was the worst thing that could have happened. That’s well-known in political circles to suppress your allied voters (no since voting now) and excite your opposition voters (who show up outraged to cast empty protest votes, or so they think). There was actually an episode of the Good Wife on this theme a few seasons ago (Season 6, Ep. 16, “Red Meat”). Also mounting evidence today that some of the Leave voters are surprised and shocked that they won:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/eu-referendum-man_uk_576cf8e4e4b08d2c5638ee29

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  10. June 24, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    “What difference does it make?” (HRC) The people voted and it’s done.

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  11. June 24, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    If you walk down the street or take a bus in Manhattan you will always hear certain people shouting and yelling about their support for Hillary and what an idiot Trump is. Does that mean that there are no Trump supporters? No. The same thing happens with polls. Some people will respond. Others will hang up the phone, Rather than wondering why the polls were so wrong this time, perhaps we ought to wonder more when they are right. Heck, even a broken analog clock is correct twice a day.

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  12. catsandmorecats
    June 25, 2016 at 6:35 am

    Still despairing here in the UK. I don’t have any constructive reasons why the polls were wrong, but a couple of comments on the reasons you consider. Re point 1, I had assumed that the pollsters were taking into account the facts that older people are both more likely to vote at all and more likely to vote Leave – certainly these issues were widely discussed in the media. Re point 5, there were no exit polls (see http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eu-referendum-exit-poll-who-has-won-remain-leave-brexit-live-updates-a7094886.html). There was a You Gov poll published at 10pm just as the polls closed – is that the one Dan C. mentions? That should not have affected the outcome. Also, the weather – just looking at the map (http://www.theguardian.com/politics/ng-interactive/2016/jun/23/eu-referendum-live-results-and-analysis) and the turnout. The turnout was a bit lower in London authorities but I’m wondering if there was a lower turnout in Remain-voting areas generally (which would fit with your point 2). From unsystematic clicking on the map I’m seeing a mixed picture. Someone could presumably map the weather against turnout – anyone know if this has been done? I was in the south-east where it did rain heavily but at the same time was very hot and muggy, so not sure if this would have put off all that many voters.

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  13. June 26, 2016 at 11:58 am

    The lying to pollsters because of social pressure effect is documented: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradley_effect

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  14. Emma D.
    June 26, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    See, the thing is, I’m not sure the polls were ‘wrong’. Well, they were because they failed to predict the results of the referendum but they painted the picture of what might (would?) have happened with a 100% turnout and I don’t really think anyone ‘lied’ on them.
    The key factor here is that one side was more motivated to get their ass/arse to the booth than the other. Leavers were overall more gung-ho about getting their protest vote out there; I know too many ‘Remainers’ who thought ‘aaah, it’ll be fine, I have for not voting, but don’t worry’. (Needless to say I shall hold my grudge against them til the end of time…)
    It was also, as mentioned above, pretty insane in the capital (trains were completely screwed all day, half the tube was unusable, tons of flooded areas, and the rain was torrential).
    So overall I think this is partly a case of not enough people having shown up to vote (really, 72% turnout for a referendum on that critical an issue does not seem very high to me… is it high? Really? How much was it for the Scottish referendum, 85%) – and those people were more statistically likely to be Remainers. Maybe those 4 points Remain had on Leave all stayed home / went to Glastonbury, who knows. (I still have not seen the Glasto numbers on who actually voted… but I kinda don’t want to).

    But there is also the interesting problem of sampling – how do they even select their sample? Are they based on the traditional left-right divide? Because the divide here was beyond this – both the left and the right were split, and demographically this might mean that whoever they were calling might be a good pool for a Labour vs. Tories election, but not so much for a EU vs NotEU vote.

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  15. ML
    June 27, 2016 at 12:38 am

    JamesNT,

    Your answer to my question is we don’t owe Mexico anything. Your reasons seem to be the following:

    1) We can’t do anything to right past wrongs because there is no way to do something that would make everyone happy.
    2) College graduates who’re struggling to find their way in the world would oppose any attempt to right these past wrongs.
    3) It’s always the case that someone screwed someone somewhere.

    Now you may be right that we don’t owe Mexico anything. But I don’t think the reasons you’ve offered to support this conclusion are convincing. First, the suggestion that we should only do things that would make everyone happy is too high a bar to set. If we tried to enact public policies on the basis of the idea that we should only do what makes everyone happy, I suspect we’d do almost nothing because almost nothing makes everyone happy. Even the few things that Libertarians want to see in place wouldn’t make everyone happy.

    Second, just because college graduates wouldn’t support something doesn’t make it wrong to do it. I agree that whether college graduates, or anyone else, supports something is an important political issue, but what college graduates would or wouldn’t support and what’s the just thing to do may not be the same.

    Third, just because it’s always the case that someone has wronged someone else doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to right some of those wrongs. You’re right that people committing wrongs against others is ubiquitous. But we have a whole system of laws which in part try to fairly adjudicate some of these wrongs.

    On another note, I do agree with your sympathy, in your other post, for the basic income. I’ve been a supporter, in principle, of this policy for almost 20 years and am very glad it’s finally getting some attention.

    Like

    • June 27, 2016 at 8:37 am

      @ML

      We could probably go on about reparations for a while; however, this is not our blog. In the interest of maintaining your respect, and for showing respect to the blog owner, I ask that we agree to disagree. You made some outstanding points and you have clearly put thought toward this issue yet still diplomatically leave room open for discussion and admit that you may not have all the facts needed. Very excellent. Perhaps we can pick this up another time or offline?

      Lastly, make no mistake. Basic income is going to happen. I see no other choice.

      * No one has any idea of how devastating the autonomous car will be. A few do, but most do not.

      * Amazon is in the process now of automating its warehouses and laying off all those people.

      * McDonalds has put kiosks up in my home town already and laid off dozens.

      * McDonalds is looking at a fully automated burger making machine – that’s takes care of the rest of the staff.

      * Drone delivery by Amazon et. al. Good bye Fed Ex, USPS, and UPS.

      * Wendy’s has said they will automate their entire operation by year’s end.

      * Autonomous trucks will take out truckers and entire cottage industries of truck stops and hotel chains that cater to them.

      * Intelligent medical billing software automatically sends out claims with the correct modifiers and diag codes in the correct order to maximize payment and reduce denials – no more professional coders.

      That list goes on and on. I could keep this up all day.

      JamesNT

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  16. July 9, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    The betting markets were *way* off, much more than you would expect given the polling predictions. This is my favorite example of a betting market failure because it gives the lie to how those markets supposedly work. A part of the reason the markets were off is undoubtedly because the conventional wisdom (partly based on bad polling) was that remain would win. But another reason that seems quite obvious to me is that if you’re the kind of person who is putting money into betting markets in the first place, you were also probably a remain supporter. The people who participate in betting markets aren’t a collection of folks randomly selected across the cities and the shires. most of the money probably came out of London and places like it, and London voted heavily for remain. The bettors were both more likely to support remain, and because they were likely to support remain, predisposed to take the polling data at more than face value.

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