The left flunks Econ 101

Rick Moran
Which side is better able to understand and evaluate the choices facing America in these perilous times?

Daniel Klein in the Wall Street Journal:
Zogby researcher Zeljka Buturovic and I considered the 4,835 respondents' (all American adults) answers to eight survey questions about basic economics. We also asked the respondents about their political leanings: progressive/very liberal; liberal; moderate; conservative; very conservative; and libertarian.Rather than focusing on whether respondents answered a question correctly, we instead looked at whether they answered incorrectly. A response was counted as incorrect only if it was flatly unenlightened.

[...]

How did the six ideological groups do overall? Here they are, best to worst, with an average number of incorrect responses from 0 to 8: Very conservative, 1.30; Libertarian, 1.38; Conservative, 1.67; Moderate, 3.67; Liberal, 4.69; Progressive/very liberal, 5.26.

Americans in the first three categories do reasonably well. But the left has trouble squaring economic thinking with their political psychology, morals and aesthetics.

To be sure, none of the eight questions specifically challenge the political sensibilities of conservatives and libertarians. Still, not all of the eight questions are tied directly to left-wing concerns about inequality and redistribution. In particular, the questions about mandatory licensing, the standard of living, the definition of monopoly, and free trade do not specifically challenge leftist sensibilities.

We already know the left cares little for basic economics. If they did, people like Paul Krugman who wants trillions more in "stimulus" spending would be standing on a street corner with a sign saying "The End is Near" rather than appearing in august publications like the New York Times.

The trick is to inoculate America against their stupidity. This is admittedly a difficult undertaking but conservatives will have their chance in November when the economic damage done by the left is obvious to all.

H/T: Randy Fardal

 

Which side is better able to understand and evaluate the choices facing America in these perilous times?

Daniel Klein in the Wall Street Journal:
Zogby researcher Zeljka Buturovic and I considered the 4,835 respondents' (all American adults) answers to eight survey questions about basic economics. We also asked the respondents about their political leanings: progressive/very liberal; liberal; moderate; conservative; very conservative; and libertarian.

Rather than focusing on whether respondents answered a question correctly, we instead looked at whether they answered incorrectly. A response was counted as incorrect only if it was flatly unenlightened.

[...]

How did the six ideological groups do overall? Here they are, best to worst, with an average number of incorrect responses from 0 to 8: Very conservative, 1.30; Libertarian, 1.38; Conservative, 1.67; Moderate, 3.67; Liberal, 4.69; Progressive/very liberal, 5.26.

Americans in the first three categories do reasonably well. But the left has trouble squaring economic thinking with their political psychology, morals and aesthetics.

To be sure, none of the eight questions specifically challenge the political sensibilities of conservatives and libertarians. Still, not all of the eight questions are tied directly to left-wing concerns about inequality and redistribution. In particular, the questions about mandatory licensing, the standard of living, the definition of monopoly, and free trade do not specifically challenge leftist sensibilities.

We already know the left cares little for basic economics. If they did, people like Paul Krugman who wants trillions more in "stimulus" spending would be standing on a street corner with a sign saying "The End is Near" rather than appearing in august publications like the New York Times.

The trick is to inoculate America against their stupidity. This is admittedly a difficult undertaking but conservatives will have their chance in November when the economic damage done by the left is obvious to all.

H/T: Randy Fardal