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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 66 of Kenneth Arrow‘s 1974 volume, The Limits of Organization:

But in fact, elections have intrinsic shortcomings as a means of achieving responsibility.  By their very nature, elections cannot differentiate among the myriad of specific issues but rather make decisions on a sort of average.  Further, the process must of necessity be simplified, if only to keep the informational costs to the average voter within reason, so that the number of alternatives considered must necessarily be greatly reduced.  The choice of presidential candidates in 1968 had little to do with the range of issues confronting the country; while the elections of 1964 and 1972 undoubtedly offered “a choice and not an echo,” one can hardly feel that the full multidimensional complexity of the alternatives available to us was more than hinted at.