[In honor of the coming election. The following is reprised from the last election. It still applies.]
Here’s the basic instruction (stop after 1:22).
Dubner & Levitt giving the sober economics (of course it’s about social norms).
People are under delusions as to the importance of their vote. . . You’re more likely to be killed on the way to the polling booth than that you will change the outcome. . . . I don’t vote because I know there’s no likelihood my vote will affect the outcome. . . . If nobody else votes, I vote.
And last but certainly not least, George Carlin (surprise note: not family viewing):
On Election Day, I stay home. I firmly believe that if you vote, you have no right to complain. . . . . . . If you vote, and you elect dishonest, incompetent politicians, and they get into office and screw everything up, you are responsible for what they have done. You voted them in. You caused the problem. You have no right to complain. I, on the other hand, who did not vote — who did not even leave the house on Election Day — am in no way responsible for what these politicians have done and have every right to complain about the mess that you created.
[Added note: I miss George Carlin.]