The participants were asked the following questions:
True or False
1) Restrictions on housing development make housing less affordable.
2) Mandatory licensing of professional services increases the prices of those services.
3) Overall, the standard of living is higher today than it was 30 years ago.
4) Rent control leads to housing shortages.
5) A company with the largest market share is a monopoly.
6) Third World workers working for American companies overseas are being exploited.
7) Free trade leads to unemployment.
8) Minimum wage laws raise unemployment.
(See below for answer key).
Democrat respondents averaged 4.59 incorrect answers out of the eight. Republicans averaged 1.61 incorrect, and Libertarians 1.26 incorrect.
Broken down into ideological groups that resulted in the following: Very conservative, 1.30; Libertarian, 1.38; Conservative, 1.67; Moderate, 3.67; Liberal, 4.69; Progressive/very liberal, 5.26 incorrect answers out of eight questions asked.
"On every question the left did much worse than the right. On the monopoly question, the portion of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly (31%) was more than twice that of conservatives (13%) and more than four times that of libertarians (7%). On the question about living standards, the portion of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly (61%) was more than four times that of conservatives (13%) and almost three times that of libertarians (21%)."
"Adam Smith described political economy as "a branch of the science of a statesman or legislator." Governmental power joined with wrongheadedness is something terrible, but all too common. Realizing that many of our leaders and their constituents are economically unenlightened sheds light on the troubles that surround us."
Dr. Klein hails from the same school as blog favorite Walter E. Williams, who chaired the Economics department at George Mason for many years.
(Answers: T, T, T, T, F, F, F, T)