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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Self-identified liberals and Democrats do badly on questions of basic economics

Daniel Klein reports the findings of Zogby International after surveying 4,835 American adults on questions of basic economics.

They surveyed for political ideology along with the basic economics questions to correlate what political faction answered more questions incorrectly.

The sex political ideologies were: progressive/very liberal; liberal; moderate; conservative; very conservative; and libertarian.

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.


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.

Those of us that believe spending a trillion dollars on healthcare overhaul is not sound economics, or spending countless billions on bailouts is not fiscally smart or continuing to spend money our country does not have is not reasonable, already knew what Zogby International has just explained.

The left believe in a certain ideology, but cannot square their beliefs with basic math when it comes to economic issues.