Liberals Lost on EconomicsZeljka Buturovic and Daniel Klein considered 4,835 respondents in a Zogby International survey asking them eight basic economic questions and how they identify politically on a scale from libertarian to progressive/very liberal. To measure the results they measured the number of questions that were answered incorrectly giving some leeway to those who found the question ambiguous and answered not sure. When the results came in this was the spread (these figures represent the number of questions answered incorrectly out of eight possible).
Very Conservative, 1.30
Progressive/Very Liberal, 5.26
As you can see, those who identified themselves as liberal and very liberal got more than half of the eight basic economics questions wrong. This is a serious problem when you have a liberal to very liberal administration in charge of the economy, and even more so during an economic crisis. This is why we have watched government spend billions of dollars with lackluster results. You can have all the financial tools in the world but without the knowledge to apply them effectively you can't get very far.
Now one might argue that the liberals in charge of the economy are more educated and have a better understanding than that of everyday liberals. As an economist and logical person, I disagree. If the liberal voters don't understand economics they aren't going to vote for people who have a different understanding. The media plays up the debate between liberal and conservative economic ideas, but in real world application, there is no debate. Liberals don't understand the fundamentals of economics. It would take a miracle from the God liberals don't believe in for them to enact sound economic policy.
If that isn't enough to convince you; consider the messaging. Conservatives constantly speak out against the unsustainable nature of very popular programs like Medicare and Social Security. Liberals call it nonsense. Consider the economic IQ of the two groups, combined with the lack of political incentive for conservatives to critique two popular programs, and then ask yourself these questions. Why would conservatives want to contain or dismantle popular programs unless they really were unsustainable? Knowing liberals low economic IQ and the popularity of Social Security and Medicare, can you honestly believe that there is nothing wrong with these programs?
Conservative economic policies set limits to what government can provide. Liberal economic policies thrive on having no such limit. Which is economic fantasy? As the old adage goes, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
August 14th, 2010
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