Thursday, September 1, 2011

Economists for Socialism

This one surprised me:
According to a 2008 survey of members of the American Economic Association, nearly half were registered Democrats, while only 17% said they were registered Republicans. Furthermore, 60% of the economists said Barack Obama would make the most progress on important economic issues as President. Indeed, contrary to the stereotype, economists aren't rabid supporters of free markets. In a 2003 paper, researchers Daniel Klein and Charlotta Stern showed how 1,000 economists had responded to 18 questions about the role of government in matters like tariffs. Only 8% supported free-market principles, they reckoned; Klein says he doesn't think that figure has changed since the survey was carried out. A 2008 article in the journal "American Economist" argued that economists over the past half-century have helped sell voters on bigger government. "We find that the increased role of economists in society and in policymaking has led to an increase in favorable attitudes toward government intervention," wrote the authors, economists Scott Beaulier, William J. Boyes and William S. Mounts.
From "10 Things Economists Won't Tell You' (ht Captain Capitalism).

I would add an eleventh:

"We don't know".

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