Thursday, October 25, 2012

Voting, Economic Literacy & The Sowell Solution

As regards a recent BBC world poll showing massive support for Obama across the pond, I wrote that my suspicion is that such people lack any understanding of basic economics - which happens to be how I view the vast majority of Democrats.

If nothing else, the past four years have been an utter repudiation of Keynsian economic theory embraced by the left. Moreover, few if any Democratic policies make sense on a much more micro-economic scale. For example, one of the worst economic threats to our nation comes from public sector unions. They are a plague on the public treasury and deeply distorting of our politics. And yet, the voters in Ohio, the majority of whom are getting the shaft from public sector unions, were recently convinced to vote in favor of the unions. How economically illiterate do you have to be to support public sector unions?

My suspicion that one has to be economically illiterate to vote Democrat was recently given some objective foundation. This from Legal Insurrection:

A new study commissioned by Independent Women’s Voice reveals that it may be not surface-level stats that can predict voter behavior, but who they are. Their study found that voters’ exposure to facts about the economy can dramatically influence their political preferences.

The research, which was conducted in Colorado, first tested voters’ awareness of several basic economic facts. Then, after an education campaign exposed them to information about the economy over a 10-day period, they tested again. The results are fascinating. First, voters who identified facts presented to them as true were more likely to support Romney; those who identified the facts as false were more likely to support Obama. While it could be that many of these voters view economic questions as solely the area of one political party already, it is clear that awareness of these facts correlates with support for one candidate.

Further, the information campaign conducted by IWV appears both to have been able to successfully educate voters on economic facts, but also to change preferences for candidates following the path established in their research. . . .

So not only is my theory tentatively vindicated, but there is also a cure - economic literacy. So if you happen to run into a working person who is also an Obama supporter - do them and our nation a favor. Buy them Thomas Sowell's economic masterwork - Basic Economics. It explains the panorama of economics with multiple examples and in simple terms even your average economically illiterate lefty can understand. It explains and repudiates virtually every left wing economic policy plaguing our nation today.

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