A study was done by Zogby. In it, 4,835 people were asked 8 questions on economics.
Rather than focusing on whether respondents answered a question correctly, we instead looked at whether they answered incorrectly. A response was counted as incorrect only if it was flatly unenlightened.
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. There may be exceptions to the general case, but they would be atypical.
Therefore, we counted as incorrect responses of “somewhat disagree” and “strongly disagree.” This treatment gives leeway for those who think the question is ambiguous or half right and half wrong. They would likely answer “not sure,” which we do not count as incorrect.
So, in short, to be wrong, your answer had to be VERY wrong.
Okay okay okay, the results:
Best to worst, with an average number of incorrect responses from 0 to 8:
Very conservative, 1.30
Progressive/very liberal, 5.26.
It’s not even close. The conservatives did better, MUCH better, than the Leftists. And it tracks exactly with political affiliation.
Now. To be honest. I don’t think that babies who grow up to be conservatives are smarter than babies who grow up to be Leftists. Intelligence would be evenly distributed. But I think that the way a Leftist views the world prevents him from seeing things as they really ARE. He sees them as he wants them to be.
For example. I am CONVINCED that when a liberal wants to raise the minimum wage he isn’t doing it because he hates the poor, under skilled, under educated or young worker. I am SURE he is doing it to HELP those very people. However, the Leftist is blinded by his WANT and can’t see the reality. Wage control, like rent control, leads to less jobs in the same way it leads to less housing.
But it sure is fun to see this list!