The left flunks Econ 101

George Mason University professor Daniel Klein and Zogby Researcher Zeljka Buturovic polled 4,835 adults on basic economic knowledge. The correlation between political ideology and whether the questions were answered correctly was pretty striking:

The other questions were:

1) Mandatory licensing of professional services increases the prices of those services (unenlightened answer: disagree).

2) Overall, the standard of living is higher today than it was 30 years ago (unenlightened answer: disagree).

3) Rent control leads to housing shortages (unenlightened answer: disagree).

4) A company with the largest market share is a monopoly (unenlightened answer: agree).

5) Third World workers working for American companies overseas are being exploited (unenlightened answer: agree).

6) Free trade leads to unemployment (unenlightened answer: agree).

7) Minimum wage laws raise unemployment (unenlightened answer: disagree).

[Note: The eighth question was “Restrictions on housing development make housing less affordable.” (unenlightened answer: disagree)]

How did the six ideological groups do overall? Here they are, best to worst, with an average number of incorrect responses from 0 to 8: Very conservative, 1.30; Libertarian, 1.38; Conservative, 1.67; Moderate, 3.67; Liberal, 4.69; Progressive/very liberal, 5.26.

Americans in the first three categories do reasonably well. But the left has trouble squaring economic thinking with their political psychology, morals and aesthetics.

Beltway ConfidentialeconomicspollsUS

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

A San Francisco Unified School District program that gave would-be teachers extra training in the classroom has lost a key partner. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/2019 S.F. Examiner)</ins>
USF ends partnership with SFUSD in teacher residency program

District launched training effort to improve low retention rates for new hires

The Rev. Norman Fong of the Chinatown Community Development Center joined San Francisco city leaders and community partners in a “Campaign for Solidarity” at Civic Center Plaza on Saturday, Apr 17, 2021. (CraigLee/Special to the S.F. Examiner)
City launches ‘Campaign for Solidarity’ to combat racial violence

Mayor London Breed, the city’s Human Rights Commission and community leaders launched… Continue reading

It’s time to break the code of silence and end the stigmatism against infertility, which is fairly common. <ins>(Shuttterstock)</ins>
Struggles with infertility are common

We all can support friends, ask legislators to mandate sppropriate insurance

Foxes, aka Louisa Rose Allen, says she taken back control of her music in recent years. <ins>(Courtesy Hollie Fernando)</ins>
Foxes back with ‘Friends in the Corner’

Pop star doing a lot ‘behind the scene’ since 2016

Former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs spoke to San Francisco’s new Guaranteed Income Advisory Group on April 16. (Courtesy SFGOV)
City launches task force to explore Universal Basic Income programs

San Francisco on Friday launched a guaranteed income task force that could… Continue reading

Most Read