Report from The Institute for the Glaringly Obvious

This just in: Lefties don’t understand basic economic concepts.

That’s the conclusions one draws from a new study highlighted by Todd Zwyicki over at the Volokh Conspiracy. Full study here.

67% of self-described Progressives believe that restrictions on housing development (i.e., regulations that reduce the supply of housing) do not make housing less affordable.

51% believe that mandatory licensing of professionals (i.e., reducing the supply of professionals) doesn’t increase the cost of professional services.

Perhaps most amazing, 79% of self-described Progressive believe that rent control (i.e., price controls) does not lead to housing shortages.

Note that the questions here are not whether the benefits of these policies might outweigh the costs, but the basic economic effects of these policies.

Those identifying as “libertarian” and “very conservative” were the most knowledgeable about basic economics. Those identifying as “Progressive” and “Liberal” were the worst.

Next up from IGO; Is Stabbing Bad for Monkeys?

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6 Responses to Report from The Institute for the Glaringly Obvious

  1. Mr. Fantastic says:

    I met a socialist the other night who was very well informed of economics, and we had an amzimg discussion. It was quite refreshing.

    When I was becoming exposed to more free-market/free-choice ideas, I would have to say that as I–a former lefty who studied English lit–think learning basic economics had a larger affect over me than any argument from either side of the aisle.

    p.s. ARE the effects of stab wounds REALLY more physical than psychological?! Come on….

    • Aaron says:

      They’re not all bad. It’s just that proselytizing liberty gives me the feeling sometimes that I’m speaking a language totally alien to some people.

      Fallacies like zero sum and broken windows complicate what are already very complex policy arguments. The journey of a thousand steps trips over the bedroom slippers while getting dressed…

    • Seth Goldin says:

      I wonder how avowed socialists apologize for the economic calculation problem. Next time I encounter a serious socialist willing to talk, I’ll ask.

  2. Seth Goldin says:

    There are some flaws with this assertion.

  3. Aaron says:

    Over-simplification =/= flaws.

  4. Pingback: Tolerance, The Church of Unlimited Government, and Bias for Regulations | Whiskey and Car Keys

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