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Liberals Don't Understand Economics Very Well

000ike
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9/11/2011 3:54:19 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
One article does not mean anything. Articles contradict each other, they're sometimes utterly false, and some are just random, stupid, and biased. Getting an article and starting a discussion over it is like starting a discussion over a fiction book.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
jimtimmy
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9/11/2011 3:55:31 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/11/2011 3:54:19 PM, 000ike wrote:
One article does not mean anything. Articles contradict each other, they're sometimes utterly false, and some are just random, stupid, and biased. Getting an article and starting a discussion over it is like starting a discussion over a fiction book.

No, this was a survey...

It asked respondents basic econ questions... and conservatives and libertarians did much better than liberals...

It bears no resemblance to fiction...
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000ike
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9/11/2011 3:57:40 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/11/2011 3:55:31 PM, jimtimmy wrote:
At 9/11/2011 3:54:19 PM, 000ike wrote:
One article does not mean anything. Articles contradict each other, they're sometimes utterly false, and some are just random, stupid, and biased. Getting an article and starting a discussion over it is like starting a discussion over a fiction book.

No, this was a survey...

It asked respondents basic econ questions... and conservatives and libertarians did much better than liberals...

It bears no resemblance to fiction...

I was exaggerating but still, you can make charts, surveys, and articles say whatever you want them to say with a little ignoring or inaccuracy.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
jimtimmy
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9/11/2011 3:58:30 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/11/2011 3:57:40 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 9/11/2011 3:55:31 PM, jimtimmy wrote:
At 9/11/2011 3:54:19 PM, 000ike wrote:
One article does not mean anything. Articles contradict each other, they're sometimes utterly false, and some are just random, stupid, and biased. Getting an article and starting a discussion over it is like starting a discussion over a fiction book.

No, this was a survey...

It asked respondents basic econ questions... and conservatives and libertarians did much better than liberals...

It bears no resemblance to fiction...

I was exaggerating but still, you can make charts, surveys, and articles say whatever you want them to say with a little ignoring or inaccuracy.

Is this really that surprising of a finding, given the economic policies liberals advocate?
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Just1Voice
Posts: 155
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9/11/2011 4:33:36 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I question the way the survey was constructed and also the way the data was weighted.

From the original abstract:
"We gauge economic enlightenment based on responses to eight economic questions. A number of controversial interpretive issues attend our measure, including: (1) our designation of enlightened answers; (2) an asymmetry in sometimes challenging leftist mentalities without ever specifically challenging conservative and libertarian mentalities; (3) our simple eight-question test is merely a baseline and does not gauge the heights of economic enlightenment; and (4) a concern about response bias (namely, that less intelligent people would be less likely to participate in the survey). Even with the caveats in mind, however, the results are important."

See link: http://econjwatch.org...

What the study was able to show more accurately was that a liberal arts college level education was not much of a factor in terms of economic understanding. This conclusion is far more reliable than the conclusion that progressives don't understand economics as well.

It is more likely that their perspective in differently informed, and so they interpreted the wording of the questions differently from the way the designers of the survey intended.

The difference between conservative and progressive views in economics tends to be one of range. Conservative tend to consider policies only in terms of short term goals, and progressives tend to look at policy effects over a much longer time period.
jimtimmy
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9/11/2011 5:11:31 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/11/2011 4:33:36 PM, Just1Voice wrote:

The difference between conservative and progressive views in economics tends to be one of range. Conservative tend to consider policies only in terms of short term goals, and progressives tend to look at policy effects over a much longer time period.

This is completely wrong... Keynesianism IS about the short term... Neoclassical economics focuses on the long term...

This means that you have it reversed... Conservative economic policies ARE about the long run..
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Just1Voice
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9/11/2011 6:00:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/11/2011 5:11:31 PM, jimtimmy wrote:
At 9/11/2011 4:33:36 PM, Just1Voice wrote:

The difference between conservative and progressive views in economics tends to be one of range. Conservative tend to consider policies only in terms of short term goals, and progressives tend to look at policy effects over a much longer time period.

This is completely wrong... Keynesianism IS about the short term... Neoclassical economics focuses on the long term...

This means that you have it reversed... Conservative economic policies ARE about the long run..

I think it may be that we are interpreting the data with different ideas of what it means to look at the "long term." The progressive perspective is an altruistic one that tends toward impatience, but looks at the long run in decision making. As a result, they generally attempt to apply altruistic predictions of long term results immediately, rather than patiently waiting for the conditions to balance themselves first.

Where over time rational models will show that cooperative strategies between reputable corporate entities will provide a stable gain for those cooperating, a progressive will wish to assume the reputation first instead of waiting to establish trust over time.

This is not meant to be a judgement on either side. I have said before that my own perspective strongly favors fiscal conservatism, despite the fact that I often advocate for liberal policies in the short term. I prefer to choose policy based on their effect on dialectic progression rather than an idealized insistence of the policies I envision as the ultimate end goal.
Wnope
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9/11/2011 6:48:55 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/11/2011 5:11:31 PM, jimtimmy wrote:
At 9/11/2011 4:33:36 PM, Just1Voice wrote:

The difference between conservative and progressive views in economics tends to be one of range. Conservative tend to consider policies only in terms of short term goals, and progressives tend to look at policy effects over a much longer time period.

This is completely wrong... Keynesianism IS about the short term... Neoclassical economics focuses on the long term...

This means that you have it reversed... Conservative economic policies ARE about the long run..

Dude, Keynes is part of neoclassical synthesis.

Neoclassical economics in general involves one of the conservatives favorite abstractions the "ideal supply/demand point" that will be hit as long as you leave a market alone.

Please, if you're going to critique liberal understanding of economics, get a clear understanding of it.

"Neoclassical" is not a policy set, it's a set of assumptions about market functions.
Ragnar_Rahl
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9/11/2011 7:09:43 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/11/2011 6:48:55 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/11/2011 5:11:31 PM, jimtimmy wrote:
At 9/11/2011 4:33:36 PM, Just1Voice wrote:

The difference between conservative and progressive views in economics tends to be one of range. Conservative tend to consider policies only in terms of short term goals, and progressives tend to look at policy effects over a much longer time period.

This is completely wrong... Keynesianism IS about the short term... Neoclassical economics focuses on the long term...

This means that you have it reversed... Conservative economic policies ARE about the long run..

Dude, Keynes is part of neoclassical synthesis.
That's because neoclassical synthesis is defined as the attempt to synthesize Keynesianism and neoclassical economics.

Fortunately, he didn't say anything about any sort of synthesis so it hardly seems relevant.
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LeoL
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9/11/2011 8:00:02 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Means nothing. It's the same thing as If I would post a study revealing that Liberals have more developped brains, which has actually been done.
Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? -Douglas Adams
jimtimmy
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9/11/2011 8:36:04 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/11/2011 6:48:55 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/11/2011 5:11:31 PM, jimtimmy wrote:
At 9/11/2011 4:33:36 PM, Just1Voice wrote:

The difference between conservative and progressive views in economics tends to be one of range. Conservative tend to consider policies only in terms of short term goals, and progressives tend to look at policy effects over a much longer time period.

This is completely wrong... Keynesianism IS about the short term... Neoclassical economics focuses on the long term...

This means that you have it reversed... Conservative economic policies ARE about the long run..

Dude, Keynes is part of neoclassical synthesis.

Neoclassical economics in general involves one of the conservatives favorite abstractions the "ideal supply/demand point" that will be hit as long as you leave a market alone.

Please, if you're going to critique liberal understanding of economics, get a clear understanding of it.

"Neoclassical" is not a policy set, it's a set of assumptions about market functions.

I do have an understanding of it...

I was referring to New Classical Economics... I was, for example, contrasting the views of Robert Lucas and Paul Krugman...
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socialpinko
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9/12/2011 11:53:54 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/11/2011 3:51:14 PM, jimtimmy wrote:
At least according to this study:

http://www.science20.com...

Any thoughts?

Most people don't understand economics very well, liberals are no exception.
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jimtimmy
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9/12/2011 2:28:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/12/2011 11:53:54 AM, socialpinko wrote:
At 9/11/2011 3:51:14 PM, jimtimmy wrote:
At least according to this study:

http://www.science20.com...

Any thoughts?

Most people don't understand economics very well, liberals are no exception.

At least conservatives understand very basic economics...
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feverish
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9/13/2011 6:30:43 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
What an immense pile of poo.

Economics is not a hard science n the way physics or chemistry are, it is based on theoretical principles not hard facts. This survey doesn't show anything about understanding or ignorance, just about belief systems. Liberals may or may not "understand" economics, but what this survey reveals, unsurprisingly is that liberals often disagree with the capitalist based principles that modern economics are founded on.

Declaring liberals ignorant of economics from the results of this survey is similar to calling atheists ignorant for not believing in God.
sadolite
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9/13/2011 7:53:28 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/13/2011 6:30:43 AM, feverish wrote:
What an immense pile of poo.

Economics is not a hard science n the way physics or chemistry are, it is based on theoretical principles not hard facts. This survey doesn't show anything about understanding or ignorance, just about belief systems. Liberals may or may not "understand" economics, but what this survey reveals, unsurprisingly is that liberals often disagree with the capitalist based principles that modern economics are founded on.

Declaring liberals ignorant of economics from the results of this survey is similar to calling atheists ignorant for not believing in God.

People actually question the survey rather than acknowledge the blatantly and painfully obvious fact of the statement. As though they will find something in the survey that will vindicate the stupidity of liberal fiscal policy. Have you looked out the front door lately.
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jimtimmy
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9/13/2011 8:05:38 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/13/2011 6:30:43 AM, feverish wrote:
What an immense pile of poo.

Economics is not a hard science n the way physics or chemistry are, it is based on theoretical principles not hard facts. This survey doesn't show anything about understanding or ignorance, just about belief systems. Liberals may or may not "understand" economics, but what this survey reveals, unsurprisingly is that liberals often disagree with the capitalist based principles that modern economics are founded on.

Declaring liberals ignorant of economics from the results of this survey is similar to calling atheists ignorant for not believing in God.

No, these are principles derived from centuries of real world principles... The fact that rent controll reduces housing supply and quality should be common knowledge...
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feverish
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9/13/2011 5:03:11 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/13/2011 8:05:38 AM, jimtimmy wrote:
At 9/13/2011 6:30:43 AM, feverish wrote:
What an immense pile of poo.

Economics is not a hard science n the way physics or chemistry are, it is based on theoretical principles not hard facts. This survey doesn't show anything about understanding or ignorance, just about belief systems. Liberals may or may not "understand" economics, but what this survey reveals, unsurprisingly is that liberals often disagree with the capitalist based principles that modern economics are founded on.

Declaring liberals ignorant of economics from the results of this survey is similar to calling atheists ignorant for not believing in God.

No, these are principles derived from centuries of real world principles...

So where are the controlled experiments in this field of 'science'? Observing isolated events with many possible causes is not a way to make scientific deductions and it would be genuinely ignorant to ignore the fact that plenty of other people have arrived at completely different principles over the same period of centuries in the same real world.

The fact that rent controll reduces housing supply and quality should be common knowledge...

The ideas may indeed have some theoretical value in an abstract sense, and yeah maybe if you suddenly dropped rent control into an imaginary ideal free market, maybe that would lead to those outcomes, but in the real world it doesn't necessarily work that way. For example if a policy of rent control was introduced along with a massive building project of social housing and tighter regulations on private landlords, then how would it reduce housing supply or quality?

If economic principles such as "minimum wage creates unemployment" were scientific fact, how would you explain the drop in UK unemployment after MW was introduced in '99 or the fact that US states that don't have a state minimum wage often have the highest rates of unemployment?
Ore_Ele
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9/13/2011 5:10:43 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/13/2011 8:05:38 AM, jimtimmy wrote:
At 9/13/2011 6:30:43 AM, feverish wrote:
What an immense pile of poo.

Economics is not a hard science n the way physics or chemistry are, it is based on theoretical principles not hard facts. This survey doesn't show anything about understanding or ignorance, just about belief systems. Liberals may or may not "understand" economics, but what this survey reveals, unsurprisingly is that liberals often disagree with the capitalist based principles that modern economics are founded on.

Declaring liberals ignorant of economics from the results of this survey is similar to calling atheists ignorant for not believing in God.

No, these are principles derived from centuries of real world principles... The fact that rent controll reduces housing supply and quality should be common knowledge...

Really?

1) What does basic economics say will happen to the price of a good (or service) if the government puts a $5.00 tax on it?

2) What does basic economics say will happen to the price of a good (or service) if the government removes a $5.00 tax on it?
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jimtimmy
Posts: 3,953
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9/13/2011 5:20:16 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/13/2011 5:03:11 PM, feverish wrote:
At 9/13/2011 8:05:38 AM, jimtimmy wrote:
At 9/13/2011 6:30:43 AM, feverish wrote:
What an immense pile of poo.

Economics is not a hard science n the way physics or chemistry are, it is based on theoretical principles not hard facts. This survey doesn't show anything about understanding or ignorance, just about belief systems. Liberals may or may not "understand" economics, but what this survey reveals, unsurprisingly is that liberals often disagree with the capitalist based principles that modern economics are founded on.

Declaring liberals ignorant of economics from the results of this survey is similar to calling atheists ignorant for not believing in God.

No, these are principles derived from centuries of real world principles...

So where are the controlled experiments in this field of 'science'? Observing isolated events with many possible causes is not a way to make scientific deductions and it would be genuinely ignorant to ignore the fact that plenty of other people have arrived at completely different principles over the same period of centuries in the same real world.

The fact that rent controll reduces housing supply and quality should be common knowledge...

The ideas may indeed have some theoretical value in an abstract sense, and yeah maybe if you suddenly dropped rent control into an imaginary ideal free market, maybe that would lead to those outcomes, but in the real world it doesn't necessarily work that way. For example if a policy of rent control was introduced along with a massive building project of social housing and tighter regulations on private landlords, then how would it reduce housing supply or quality?

If economic principles such as "minimum wage creates unemployment" were scientific fact, how would you explain the drop in UK unemployment after MW was introduced in '99 or the fact that US states that don't have a state minimum wage often have the highest rates of unemployment?

Economics looks at how the behavior of individual actors affects aggregate outcomes. Of course the minimum wage increases unemployment...

And, on aggregate in the long term, of course rent control reduces housing supply and quality...

It may not happen immediatley. Looking at times when x happened, but y didnt does not do anything to weaken economic principles...
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jimtimmy
Posts: 3,953
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9/13/2011 5:22:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/13/2011 5:10:43 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 9/13/2011 8:05:38 AM, jimtimmy wrote:
At 9/13/2011 6:30:43 AM, feverish wrote:
What an immense pile of poo.

Economics is not a hard science n the way physics or chemistry are, it is based on theoretical principles not hard facts. This survey doesn't show anything about understanding or ignorance, just about belief systems. Liberals may or may not "understand" economics, but what this survey reveals, unsurprisingly is that liberals often disagree with the capitalist based principles that modern economics are founded on.

Declaring liberals ignorant of economics from the results of this survey is similar to calling atheists ignorant for not believing in God.

No, these are principles derived from centuries of real world principles... The fact that rent controll reduces housing supply and quality should be common knowledge...

Really?

1) What does basic economics say will happen to the price of a good (or service) if the government puts a $5.00 tax on it?

2) What does basic economics say will happen to the price of a good (or service) if the government removes a $5.00 tax on it?

Don't see where you are going with this...

If supply is elastic (as it usually is), then the price of a good would go up by $5.00 in the longer term, although that may not apply immediatley...

Suppose the government put a $5.00 tax on Candy... In the short term, the price of candy may go down somewhat, due to decreased demand. Of course, in the long term, the supply of candy would go down and prices would adjust to the tax...

That is economics...
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darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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9/13/2011 5:56:02 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/13/2011 5:22:18 PM, jimtimmy wrote:
At 9/13/2011 5:10:43 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 9/13/2011 8:05:38 AM, jimtimmy wrote:
At 9/13/2011 6:30:43 AM, feverish wrote:
What an immense pile of poo.

Economics is not a hard science n the way physics or chemistry are, it is based on theoretical principles not hard facts. This survey doesn't show anything about understanding or ignorance, just about belief systems. Liberals may or may not "understand" economics, but what this survey reveals, unsurprisingly is that liberals often disagree with the capitalist based principles that modern economics are founded on.

Declaring liberals ignorant of economics from the results of this survey is similar to calling atheists ignorant for not believing in God.

No, these are principles derived from centuries of real world principles... The fact that rent controll reduces housing supply and quality should be common knowledge...

Really?

1) What does basic economics say will happen to the price of a good (or service) if the government puts a $5.00 tax on it?

2) What does basic economics say will happen to the price of a good (or service) if the government removes a $5.00 tax on it?


Don't see where you are going with this...

If supply is elastic (as it usually is), then the price of a good would go up by $5.00 in the longer term, although that may not apply immediatley...

Suppose the government put a $5.00 tax on Candy... In the short term, the price of candy may go down somewhat, due to decreased demand. Of course, in the long term, the supply of candy would go down and prices would adjust to the tax...

That is economics...

There is so much fail in this.
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Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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9/13/2011 6:09:04 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/13/2011 7:53:28 AM, sadolite wrote:
People actually question the survey rather than acknowledge the blatantly and painfully obvious fact of the statement. As though they will find something in the survey that will vindicate the stupidity of liberal fiscal policy. Have you looked out the front door lately.

If I said there was a survey that showed conservatives were on balance less intelligent than liberals (and they exist), I'm sure you'd be questioning the validity of the survey. The fact that you DON'T want to question the survey is telling in and of itself. Also, feverish's explanation of economics not being a hard science is correct. Of course you didn't address that part.
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darkkermit
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9/13/2011 7:16:34 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/13/2011 5:22:18 PM, jimtimmy wrote:

Don't see where you are going with this...

If supply is elastic (as it usually is), then the price of a good would go up by $5.00 in the longer term, although that may not apply immediatley...

Gee whiz, if we made stupid assumptions like that then all those liberal answers could be right. Oh, and just so you know, you are referring to perfect elasticity, not elastic. Elasticity is (change in percent quantity)/(change in percent price) > 1.

Suppose the government put a $5.00 tax on Candy... In the short term, the price of candy may go down somewhat, due to decreased demand.

Really! Really! The price will DECREASE if you put a tax on it! Even a liberal knows there's something wrong with that.

Of course, in the long term, the supply of candy would go down and prices would adjust to the tax...

Prices in the long run will remain the same as prices in the short run, since the opportunity to make profits hasn't changed.

That is economics...

This is you failing economics.
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mongeese
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9/13/2011 7:28:02 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
darkkermit, I think you're being too harsh on jimtimmy. When he said that the price would drop, he definitely meant the pre-tax price, not the post-tax price. Pretending otherwise is just ignorant.
Tiel
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9/13/2011 7:28:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
It's funny because everybody thinks they know, when most don't. It's simple people. Any economic system is only as successful as the desires and capabilities of it's people. Multiple different kinds of economic systems are valid and efficient depending on the like-mindedness and capability of the people within the system in combination with the resources needed.

It's funny how some people don't even understand the basics of the basics, yet claim that they know more than most. I don't know every little detail about every possible economic stem, but I understand the basics. I understand real life practicality as it applies to the subject.
"Only the inner force of curiosity and wonder about the unknown, or an outer force upon your free will, can brake the shackles of your current perception."
darkkermit
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9/13/2011 7:31:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/13/2011 7:28:02 PM, mongeese wrote:
darkkermit, I think you're being too harsh on jimtimmy. When he said that the price would drop, he definitely meant the pre-tax price, not the post-tax price. Pretending otherwise is just ignorant.

If that was his single mistake, that would be fine. However he made 3 mistakes in his analysis. Yea, it was a bit harsh. But people claiming that they know economics, should well, know economics.
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darkkermit
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9/13/2011 7:37:55 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/13/2011 7:31:58 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 9/13/2011 7:28:02 PM, mongeese wrote:
darkkermit, I think you're being too harsh on jimtimmy. When he said that the price would drop, he definitely meant the pre-tax price, not the post-tax price. Pretending otherwise is just ignorant.

If that was his single mistake, that would be fine. However he made 3 mistakes in his analysis. Yea, it was a bit harsh. But people claiming that they know economics, should well, know economics.

Actually, his analysis was more or less right. I apologize, especially since I was wrong about short run vs. long run.
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jimtimmy
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9/13/2011 7:38:14 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/13/2011 7:31:58 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 9/13/2011 7:28:02 PM, mongeese wrote:
darkkermit, I think you're being too harsh on jimtimmy. When he said that the price would drop, he definitely meant the pre-tax price, not the post-tax price. Pretending otherwise is just ignorant.

If that was his single mistake, that would be fine. However he made 3 mistakes in his analysis. Yea, it was a bit harsh. But people claiming that they know economics, should well, know economics.

Darkkermit, you know damn well what I was talking about. And, what are these other mistakes?

That I said neoclassical, when I mean New Classical... Oh, I guess I really am ignorant...

The point is that much of economics is still up for debate, but not all of it.

Price controls cause shortages... This is really not up for debate among economists...

Free trade increases standard of living for both groups... This is not up for debate either

Minimum Wage increases unemployment... no Debate here either...

The fact is that you keep on calling me stupid... Yet, you still won't deny these realities...
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