Why Liberals Are the Way They Are

Liberals have a fundamental lack of understanding of economics.

By fundamental I don’t just mean that they avoided the subject in school. I mean that Liberals don’t have intuitions that economic libertarians take as for granted and obvious.

It’s not obvious to a liberal that perpetually supporting the poor will make them need perpetual support. They don’t understand the role of savings in creating wealth (this applies to any liberal who was in favor of Obama’s “stimulus” spending or who has complained that we shouldn’t give tax breaks to the wealthy because they’ll just save it instead of spending it or who thinks that unemployment benefits have a net job creation/economic stimulation effect).

I could go on with other examples, but either you get it already or you’re a liberal.

If I’m right, this means you can fix a liberal if and only if you can get some economic common sense into them. Everything else follows, partly because an appreciation for economics gives you an appreciation for the distinctions between ends and means, incentives and intents, goals and side-effects.

For the next several months I’m going to try an experiment: I will argue political issues only in terms of common sense economic fundamentals. Maybe a few light bulbs will flicker into life in a few liberal heads. More likely, I’ll face bovine incomprehension and boredom, which will be even more interesting to consciously observe.


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