At least it is voters, not politicians like here

The good thing about elections is that it reveals the real motives of the politicians and also their supporters.

One key area is economic literacy, and it seems that few people actually understand the basics.

Education: Everybody talks about how the presidential primaries have uncovered intense voter anger at the political establishment. It’s actually revealed something more troubling: The widespread ignorance of basic economic truths that spans across the political spectrum.

Has there ever been a bigger disconnect between economic reality and public perception?

Polls taken during the primary season have found Democrats embracing socialism, Republicans rejecting trade, and majorities in both parties saying Wall Street is hurting the economy. That’s despite the general consensus among mainstream economists that none of these things is true.

Take Democrats’ views on socialism. An American Action Network poll finds that 40% of Democrats say socialism is the best form of government, while another 10% say both. In other words, half of Democratic voters are perfectly comfortable with the idea of the government owning and/or controlling the private sector. More than half of Democrats (57%) say that socialism has a positive impact on society.

A separate New York Times/CBS poll found the same thing: half of Democrats have a positive few of socialism; just 34% have a negative view.

Overall, the NYT poll found that a third of the public has a positive view of socialism, while just over half has a negative view.

All this despite the unbroken string of failures with socialist states, the latest of which are all happening right in the nation’s backyard, where socialist policies have produced massive deprivation and chronic shortages. Just this week, Venezuela ordered a two-day workweek to save on electricity.

Denmark, which socialist Bernie Sanders says is a model socialist state, rejects the label, insisting that it’s a market economy.

While the Democrats are in love with the failure of socialism, Republicans are in love with a fortress mentality.

Meanwhile, exit polls show that Republicans are more hostile to free trade than Democrats. In Pennsylvania, for example, 53% of GOP voters say trade with other nation’s “takes away U.S. jobs.” Just 42% of Democratic voters feel that way.

The same gap has shown up in just about every other state where this question was asked of primary voters.

Yet the benefits of trade are one of the most widely accepted economic principles.

Then there’s the view of Wall Street. In New York, more Republicans say Wall Street mostly hurts the economy (48%) than helps it, 43%. In Pennsylvania, half of Republican voters say it hurts, while just 41% say it helps. Among Democrats, nearly two-thirds in both states say Wall Street does more harm than good.

The problem is that leaders in neither party have done an effective job of educating the public on the truth, since there’s more political mileage to be gained by bashing trade, bashing “big banks,” bashing Wall Street, and bashing “greed” than there is explaining the benefits of a free market.

The free market principles that created the nation’s unprecedented prosperity won’t last long if no one is willing to defend them.

Gee, which party wants to stiff-arm the banks in NZ, control power prices and extend welfare with a universal basic income…and that is just the politicians. Thankfully our voters are somewhat more enlightened to the benefits of free trade and the evils of socialism.

 – Investors Business Daily


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  • Oh Please

    Socialism is evil. It spawns entitlement, envy, laziness. It has delivered political correctness, created ethnic ghettos and harboured terrorism. It hates those with education, the self employed and those who ‘do’. I hate everything socialism stands for.

    • Gazza

      …..and it has always failed

      • OneTrack

        But the Greens say, “It will work’this’ time”

        • Gazza

          aaaaand then it will fail…..again

    • JEL51

      …encourages dependency so people loose all sense of self-direction. In other words it is crippling.

    • Blockhead

      Political correctness = Cultural Marxism.
      Is it time to move on from PC and start using Cultural Marxism? Would it help folks to better understand what is really going on?

  • biscuit barrel

    Perhaps the US voters were thinking of the local socialism, the one that saved the bankers arse with 100s billions of taxpayers money.

    Then the everyday socialism that we all accept now without much thought, where the government decides what the core interest rates will be. Who knew the state chooses the amount of interest my savings get.

    There has to be a reason the mixed market model is the best way and used by all western nations. The poorest countries are usually the only pure capitalist

    • Rebecca

      Older Americans have granted themselves all sorts of socialist benefits while decrying benefits for anybody else. Result: a US citizen turning 65 in 2013 will have scooped around $375K more out of the public purse than they put in, while a US citizen born in 2013 can expect to put $400K more into the public purse than they’ll ever see back. One of the more impressive gifts from the older generation to the younger, is a $47 trillion unfunded Medicare deficit (Medicare is the taxpayer-funded (Socialist) healthcare scheme for Americans once they reach the age of 65.)

  • Annoyed

    All my Socialist friends constantly spout economic theory without realising that 3rd form theory doesn’t carry into the real world. Lying academics supply them with all the info, without any basis in the real world and they copy it verbatim. When you point out that there are other factors and that the rule of unexpected consequences applies almost every time they reply with “they person they’re copying is an expert, you aren’t” (which id their answer to any reasoned debate about the TPP and Jane Kelsey as well). It’s also impossible to explain to them the value of debt, they just comprehend how smart debt is good (despite the mouse ads).