Stupid Liberals & The Economics They Don’t Get

Oh, the mirth! A liberal on Twitter was talking about the “progressive approach to fiscal responsibility.” Oh I laughed out loud, I did. And when I did, I was chided about President Bush’s fiscal irresponsibility. You know what? Fiscal conservatives didn’t like big spending then, either.

So anyway, turns out that liberals are stupid when it comes to economics. More proof:

“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.

Yet on every question the left did much worse. On the monopoly question, the portion of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly (31%) was more than twice that of conservatives (13%) and more than four times that of libertarians (7%). On the question about living standards, the portion of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly (61%) was more than four times that of conservatives (13%) and almost three times that of libertarians (21%).

The survey also asked about party affiliation. Those responding Democratic averaged 4.59 incorrect answers. Republicans averaged 1.61 incorrect, and Libertarians 1.26 incorrect.

This is not surprising. Liberals live in a la-la world where consequences are separated from causation. There seems to be a correlation between this behavior and this outcome but let’s not jump to any conclusions. They have trouble with a + b = c linear thinking. They have subjective realities–which is to say they live in their own fantasy world. The findings of this study are not shocking at all.

In a related piece titled “Morici: Democratic Capitalism is Suffering, there is talk about the why of this delusion:

Politicians have deluded themselves into believing an education system that encourages young people to “find themselves,” instead of “finding something productive” will give society enough scientists and engineers to solve the tough problems needed to perpetuate growth.

They have deluded themselves into thinking that professors spending six hours a week or less teaching and the rest thinking great thoughts, or verbally pistol whipping the society that supports them, is somehow wealth creating.

Finally, free markets can’t be wholly free but from Tokyo to Berlin national leaders have peculiar notions about who should compete, who should be regulated and how.

Most national leaders having been educated in squeaky clean environs like Harvard, Oxford and the University of Tokyo believe anything created by hand, other than an exquisite meal or with a computer keystroke, is somehow unworthy of western post-industrial society.

In a world where truth is anything that an intellectual says it is, hard economic realities mean little. They are more distractions and irritants because they interfere with the world they want to create.

That’s why they’re dangerous: they’re not only ignorant, they’re arrogant. They believe they know better. This toxic brew spells disaster.

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