Reply To: Lesson 3.8: Economic calculation


A person voting does not bear the opportunity cost of obtaining the alternative he votes for. A person paying the market price to buy a good does bear the opportunity cost of having his preference satisfied. Whatever made be said in its favor, voting is not an action that demonstrates that a person voting for one alternative values it more relative to the value placed on the alternative given up by a voter who favored it. All voting demonstrates is that each voter values the alternative he votes for more than he himself values the other alternative. But a person who buys a good pays a price that other persons are unwilling to pay and thereby demonstrates that he values the good relative to money more than other persons value the good relative to money. Moreover, a person who votes for an option has his vote nullified by a person voting against his option regardless of how intensely each voter values the option he favors. A person who values something more than another person can, however, outbid him by paying a higher price. Voting does not register the intensity of a person’s preference, bidding prices for goods does.