Who Flunked Economics 101?
It turns out that how well you know your basic economics principles correlates pretty closely with your spot on the political spectrum.
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.
They describe the specific questions as well as their methodology, which breaks things down by incorrect answers, and where "not sure" doesn’t count against you. I can see one of the questions that I might disagree with what they considered the correct answer, but you had to be positively wrong (so to speak), not just unsure, to get marked off. The results?
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.
Ronald Reagan said, "The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so." This shows how remarkably true that is.
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