Survey: Liberals don’t understand basic economics

Victor Joecks

Alternative headline: Actions of the Nevada Legislature – explained! (Geoff wrote about this yesterday, but it’s so good I wanted to give you my take as well.)

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…

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.

There was also a big difference in economic understanding between the two major political parties.

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.

Read the whole thing to find out what questions the researchers asked and to test yourself.

Now, to be fair to liberals, Ed Morrissey of Hotair says the test questions seem subjective, but there’s a much better test of liberals’ economic abilities happening right now in the real world.

[W]e’re getting a real-world demonstration of progressive economics over the last sixteen months. We don’t need a Zogby survey to tell us that it fails; all we need to see are the job-creation numbers coming this year, and the precipitous drop in mortgage applications.

From the housing tax credit to the stimulus to Nevada’s billion-dollar tax hike to George W. Bush’s Medicare giveaway, liberals of all parties don’t understand economics. And we’ll be paying for it in years to come.

Unfortunately for Nevada, during the 2009 legislative session our liberal legislative leadership understood full well that raising taxes would kill jobs – and did it anyway.