Liberals livid over economic enlightenment gauge

Among the results: Self-described liberals were more likely to disagree with statements that restrictions on housing development make housing less affordable; that mandatory licensing of professional services increases the prices of those services; or that overall, the standard of living is higher today than it was 30 years ago.

Ms. Buturovic acknowledged that conservative respondents’ political leanings were not the sole determining factor in their relative economic sophistication.

“Many variables that are associated with conservatism were also associated with greater enlightenment,” he said. “Republicans scored better than Democrats, men better than women, married people better than those who are single. Those who never shop at Wal-Mart and those who consider themselves residents of the ‘planet Earth’ (as opposed to America or their city or town) had particularly low scores.”

Ms. Buturovic said she does not intend to blame a lack of economic enlightenment on political ideology.

“I think the reason is that [people] have these primitive intuitions about how economy works, and they have for some reason either failed to acquire relevant cultural knowledge or are unable to apply it in the policy context. It took many centuries for basic economic concepts and principles to be discovered so, in a sense, it is not that surprising that some people are having trouble grasping them.”

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About the Author
Michal Elseth

Michal Elseth

Michal Elseth is an intern with the National Journalism Center working in commentary and national news for the summer. She graduated in May with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hillsdale College. Michal loves D.C. and life as a graduate, but she is actually from the other Washington and hopes to work in journalism there. 

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