Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Benign Stupidity of the World’s Navel

Economics is a social science. Aptitude in the understanding of economic matters requires a kind of facility with understanding human behavior, and divorcing oneself of the arrogance of imagining whatever forms of utopian arbitrary simplism should be forced on the society at large.

I think you know what world view that's referring to. They see the world in class warfare terms, but say that they're for everyone's dignity, social justice, etc.

So it comes at no surprise to discover that in that social science, conservatives and libertarians show an exemplary understanding of economics compared to leftists, whatever their level of education:

Based on a Zogby International online survey of 4,835 American adults, Columbia University psychologist Zeljka Buturovic and George Mason University economist Dan Klein find that economic enlightenment is not correlated to going to college.

They also find that it is the highest among those self-identifying “conservative” and “libertarian,” and descends through “moderate,” “liberal,” and “progressive.” Other variables include party affiliation, religious participation, union membership, NASCAR fandom, and Wal-Mart patronage.
Yes, those barbarian mouth-breathers who are fans of NASCAR and lower themselves to step into a Wal-Mart.
Even with the caveats in mind, however, the results are important. They indicate that, for people inclined to take such a survey, basic economic enlightenment is not correlated with going to college.
Or to put the motives of the state-centrism of the left, we have this old European saying consistent with the center-to-far left’s social and economic world view:
“Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato”

“Everything for the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”

- some minion of Mussolini

Which is also why engaging with the ideas of the structurally more “progressive” social attitudes, politics, and polity of Europe reminds me of trying to talk to a class of dull-eyed, predictable adolescents. Some staring off into space, a few picking their noses, one or two of them staring at your crotch, but all of them prone to destroy something sooner or later based on single-mindedness, and a lack of personal moderation. Such is the state of those you’ll be sure to see protesting in the European streets in the coming year over matters of economy, wages, services, and entitlements.

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