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A libertarian economist retracts a swipe at the left—after discovering that our political leanings leave us more biased than we think. B ack in June 2010, I published a Wall Street Journal op-ed arguing that the American left was unenlightened, by and large, as to economic matters. Responding to a set of survey questions that tested people’s real-world understanding of basic economic principles, self-identified progressives and liberals did much worse than conservatives and libertarians, I reported. To sharpen the ax, The Journal titled the piece “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?”—the implication being that people on the left were not.
By Cosma Shalizi Over the last fifty years or so, diversity has joined motherhood and apple pie as something everyone embraces, at least in public. But many who would never say publicly that there is only one correct way to do things and one admirable type of person, express such feelings in private, at least about what's important to them.