Monday, June 21, 2010
George Mason Professor Says the Left Flunks Economics 101!
Repost: "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?"
Self-identified liberals and Democrats do badly on questions of basic economics
By Daniel B. Klein, professor of economics at George Mason University, for The Wall Street Journal
Photo by the Associated Press.
See full story here.
The professor's complete article and findings can be found at Econ Journal Watch, Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics.
Here is an excerpt from The Wall Street Journal story:
"Who is better informed about the policy choices facing the country—liberals, conservatives or libertarians? According to a Zogby International survey that I write about in the May issue of Econ Journal Watch, the answer is unequivocal: The left flunks Econ 101.
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...
Governmental power joined with wrongheadedness is something terrible, but all too common. Realizing that many of our leaders and their constituents are economically unenlightened sheds light on the troubles that surround us..."
at 7:37 AM