Progressives Fail Basic Economics
A very fascinating poll released where 5,000 Americans were asked a series of basic economic questions. The participants were also asked to self-identify their political leanings by selecting one of the following:
- Very Conservative
- Progressive / Very Liberal
The eight questions were as follows:
- Mandatory licensing of professional services increases the prices of those services.
- Overall, the standard of living is higher today than it was 30 years ago
- Rent control leads to housing shortages.
- A company with the largest market share is a monopoly.
- Third World workers working for American companies overseas are being exploited.
- Free trade leads to unemployment.
- Minimum wage laws raise unemployment.
- Restrictions on housing development make housing less affordable
The participants were told to either strongly agree, somewhat agree, strongly disagree, or somewhat disagree (or select “not sure”) to the above statements.
Here’s the interesting thing about this study. The researchers only looked at the incorrect answers. If, for instance, the economic proposition was correct, “Somewhat” and “strongly” disagree would be counted as wrong answers. “Not sure” was never counted as an incorrect answer. Makes sense, because it’s not much of an answer at all.
So, how did the various groups do according to political affiliation? The following shows the group and the average number of incorrect answers for that group:
- Very Conservative – Average of 1.30 incorrect answers (out of 8 questions)
- Libertarian – Average of 1.38 incorrect answers (out of 8 questions)
- Conservative – Average of 1.67 incorrect answers (out of 8 questions)
- Moderate – Average of 3.67 incorrect answers (out of 8 questions)
- Liberal – Average of 4.69 incorrect answers (out of 8 questions)
- Progressive/Very Liberal – Average of 5.26 incorrect answers (out of 8 questions)
Amazing the jump from conservative to moderate. Thanks to Boortz.com for bringing this to my attention.
What do you think about this?