WSJ: Liberals Flunk Econ 101

Interesting article from the Wall Street Journal:

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.


Consider one of the economic propositions in the December 2008 poll: “Restrictions on housing development make housing less affordable.” People were asked if they: 1) strongly agree; 2) somewhat agree; 3) somewhat disagree; 4) strongly disagree; 5) are not sure.

Basic economics acknowledges that whatever redeeming features a restriction may have, it increases the cost of production and exchange, making goods and services less affordable.


In this case, percentage of conservatives answering incorrectly was 22.3%, very conservatives 17.6% and libertarians 15.7%. But the percentage of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly was 67.6% and liberals 60.1%. The pattern was not an anomaly.

Suffocating the free market and allowing government to intrude fixing regulations, limitations, et al. is disastrous for an economy; this scenario has played out time and time again on the international stage in various countries. I don’t know if it’s because liberals confuse it with American exceptionalism and thus, think that this time it will be different, but it’s not compassionate to make it harder for people to provide for themselves or to take away their opportunities to do so.