Basic economics and liberals

Daniel Klein: Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?
Self-identified liberals and Democrats do badly on questions of basic economics.

This is something I've been saying for a while now. The plurality of people I know who are liberals do not understand basic economics. Amazingly one of my friends has her own law practice but seems unable to grasp econ 101. Another guy I went to high school with is a journalist so you can imagine what his grasp is. He makes my brother completely mental. My brother is an equity analyst and journalist man is basically a marxist. I wish I had recorded some of the conversations they have had about banks, equities, economics and, God help me, "social justice". Oh, and the minimum wage one was awesome.

The real gems for this article are in the comments. There's a lot of chaff but some of the wheat in there are the liberals who attempt do debunk the study by adding in all sorts of extraneous reason why the study is flawed or unclear or biased. Really, it's amazing. One reader tries to argue that restricting the development of housing does not necessarily mean restricting housing. It might mean restricting the size of housing which would necessarily dictate lower prices. How this is so is not explained. This would be news to people in Manhattan and moreso in Hong Kong.

The other wonder explains that increasing minimum wage decreases unemployment because more people will apply for jobs that pay more money. Exactly how more than one person will fill that job irrespective of the number of applicants is, again, not explained.

The logic goes something like this: There is a job available at Burger Joint for $5.00 per hour. There will only be 10 applicants. Raise that number to $12.50 and now you have 100 applicants. That somehow means you've got the job market moving again.

Read as much of it as you can (nb: there were over 400 comments when last I looked)


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