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29 minAPR 9
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Should We Dial Back Democracy?


How much democracy is too much? Societies have been toying with different democratic models — from how often to hold elections, to who gets to vote and what the public can vote on — for centuries. Garett Jones, an economist and former Senate staffer, argues the current setup in the U.S. desperately needs some tinkering. Jones says the ancient Greeks, who granted brief political mandates and gave some citizens direct input on law, would be shocked by our modern American politics: “you’re letting people have power for six years?” But he believes our retreat from direct democracy has been positive, and that there’s still further to go. In his latest book, 10% Less Democracy: Why You Should Trust Elites A Little More and The Masses a Little Less, Jones argues that embracing expertise and lengthening congressional terms would make for better politics and more “courageous” politicians.