Given the economic policies supported by liberals/progressives, it would be no surprise if they were ignorant of basic economic facts. A study of 2008 Zogby survey data just recently published finds just that.
According to the study, what the researchers call “economic enlightenment” (essentially knowledge of economic facts) varied among political ideologies. The authors note the following:
Adults self-identifying “very conservative” and “libertarian” perform the best, followed closely by “conservative.” Trailing far behind are “moderate,” then with another step down to “liberal,” and a final step to “progressive,” who, on average, get wrong 5.26 questions out of eight.
Here are few examples of the statements survey respondents were asked to agree or disagree with:
- Restrictions on housing development make housing less affordable. (Unenlightened: Disagree)
- Mandatory licensing of professional services increases the prices of those services. (Unenlightened: Disagree)
- Overall, the standard of living is higher today than it was 30 years ago. (Unenlightened: Disagree)
- Rent control leads to housing shortages. (Unenlightened: Disagree)
- A company with the largest market share is a monopoly. (Unenlightened: Agree)
Whether the liberals and progressives are genuinely ignorant of economics or are simply unwilling to accept facts that contradict their ideological inclinations is not known. Either way, policies based on ignorance of economics don’t bode well for success. Unfortunately, many politicians seem to specialize in either being ignorant of economics themselves or seeking support from voters who are economically ignorant.
It should additionally be noted that the study also found that economic enlightenment did not correlate with going to college. That may be more an indictment of modern colleges than it is the survey’s respondents.