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Thread: Democrat vs Republican: The Knowledge Struggle

  1. #31
    Junior Member Claudius the God's Avatar
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    I find comments like "more knowledgeable about economics" to be a very dangerous statement to make given how difficult it is to understand macro itself even if you are an economist. What exactly does it mean to be knowledgeable about macro and why does it matter when economists themselves are all over the place? Isn't it more interesting to know if the two parties understand current reality as it pertains to themselves?

  2. #32
    Veteran Member TNVolunteer73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eve1 View Post
    Once again we hear from the uninformed gallery

    1. Red states don't live off welfare. Red states attract PEOPLE ON SOCIAL SECURITYY


    HEY EVERYONE @Eve1 BELIEVES SOCIAL SECURITY IS WELFARE.. THIS IS WHY DEMOCRATS STEAL FROM THE SS TRUST SINCE 1965.

    2. The states are not poor, the poor states are Blue Fiscally worst states IL, CT, NY CA.

    3. Incomes are lower in Red states because it takes ~3 times more to have the same standard of living in NY as it does GA.

    A person has to pay 69,000 in NY to live the same Lifestyle as a person making 26,000 in GA. (who is going to be hit worse by the IRS the average Joe in NY making 69,000 or the Average Joe making 26,000 living the same lifestyle.


    We cannot help it that GOP is smarter than Democrats and learn to win at the Socalism Game.. by beating the Progressive tax rates.
    Last edited by TNVolunteer73; 17th July 2017 at 09:48 AM.

  3. #33
    Senior Member Eve1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNVolunteer73 View Post
    Once again we hear from the uninformed gallery

    1. Red states don't live off welfare. Red states attract PEOPLE ON SOCIAL SECURITYY


    HEY EVERYONE @Eve1 BELIEVES SOCIAL SECURITY IS WELFARE.. THIS IS WHY DEMOCRATS STEAL FROM THE SS TRUST SINCE 1965.

    2. The states are not poor, the poor states are Blue Fiscally worst states IL, CT, NY CA.

    3. Incomes are lower in Red states because it takes ~3 times more to have the same standard of living in NY as it does GA.

    A person has to pay 69,000 in NY to live the same Lifestyle as a person making 26,000 in GA. (who is going to be hit worse by the IRS the average Joe in NY making 69,000 or the Average Joe making 26,000 living the same lifestyle.


    We cannot help it that GOP is smarter than Democrats and learn to win at the Socalism Game.. by beating the Progressive tax rates.
    24 of the top 34 states are blue while 14 of the 17 bottom states are red. 9 of the top 10 states are Democratic and 9 of the 10 states with the lowest quality of living are Republican.

  4. #34
    Scucca Æthelfrith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudius the God View Post
    I find comments like "more knowledgeable about economics" to be a very dangerous statement to make given how difficult it is to understand macro itself even if you are an economist. What exactly does it mean to be knowledgeable about macro and why does it matter when economists themselves are all over the place? Isn't it more interesting to know if the two parties understand current reality as it pertains to themselves?
    Economists are not 'all over the place'. The discipline is pluralist, by definition. Knowledge on economics may be skewed (e.g. referring to finanacial economics because of investments or referring to neoclassical economics because of innate conservatism), but who are we to question the validity of that knowledge?

  5. #35
    Junior Member Claudius the God's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Æthelfrith View Post
    Economists are not 'all over the place'. The discipline is pluralist, by definition. Knowledge on economics may be skewed (e.g. referring to finanacial economics because of investments or referring to neoclassical economics because of innate conservatism), but who are we to question the validity of that knowledge?
    Actually, economists today are indeed arguing over basic tenets of traditional economics. The Phillips Curve for instance is being debated constantly, equilibrium is being discredited, free market theories are being challenged, modeling is always a debate, supply and demand is being constantly revisited for its usefulness in understanding behavior, the list goes on and on. Get two economists in the room and they will likely disagree on almost everything you ask them. Micro is fairly consistent, there is not much to debate about how a company should maximize profits or efficiencies. Macro however is still a very young and decidedly unscientific discipline. So, my point is what does it mean to be knowledgeable about economics as it pertains to the point about liberals and conservatives? My bet is that the proper response to all the questions asked were slanted towards a conservative economic system. One could easily slant it towards a more socialist system by simply teeing the whole thing up by using Germany or Sweden as examples of economic success. Then you would have opposite results would you not? Given the choice between economies, I prefer theirs to ours. Does that mean I know nothing about economics? Of course not but it would mean that someone who disputed conservative ideas would likely come out as being less informed if the survey was slanted. I do not know how the survey was conducted, do not know the questions but am only making the point that economics itself has very, very few "truths". It may be that we are supposed to know dogma in order to be economically literate. I prefer an ignorant socialist over a trained laissez faire free market capitalist any day.
    Last edited by Claudius the God; 19th July 2017 at 10:10 AM.

  6. #36
    Scucca Æthelfrith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudius the God View Post
    Actually, economists today are indeed arguing over basic tenets of traditional economics. The Phillips Curve for instance is being debated constantly, equilibrium is being discredited, free market theories are being challenged, modeling is always a debate, supply and demand is being constantly revisited for its usefulness in understanding behavior, the list goes on and on.
    This isn't correct as you're not referring to 'basic tenets of traditional economics'. You're referring to aspects within neoclassical economics. The Phillips Curve, for example, was used to find similar ground between neoclassical analysis and bastardised Keynesianism. Equilibrium is used differently across different Schools. It was only inconvenient for the mathematical analysis preferred in neoclassical analysis. Supply and demand was never straight-forward. See, for example, post-Keynesianism and how it refocuses on bargaining power.

    You're not talking about 'basic tenets', you're merely advertising that economics is pluralist and encompasses numerous (often conflicting) schools of thought.

    Get two economists in the room and they will likely disagree on almost everything you ask them.
    And that is standard in a pluralist subject...

    Micro is fairly consistent, there is not much to debate about how a company should maximize profits or efficiencies.
    Wrong! The debate is particularly strong in microeconomics. Compare, for example, complexity economics to neoclassical economies. Also see how behavioural economics has innovated and changed the focus.

    Macro however is still a very young and decidedly unscientific discipline.
    The problem with macro is the attempt to make it palatable to conservatism. We saw that with the nonsense over the Phillips Curve, spawning bogus debates from monetarism and then new classicalism/new Keynesianism.

    So, my point is what does it mean to be knowledgeable about economics as it pertains to the point about liberals and conservatives?
    Already answered this! Given economics is, by definition, pluralist, we are not in a position to evaluate whether it is 'right' or 'wrong'. There is no truth after all. However, we can refer to knowledge of economic material. I don't like the fixation on neoclassical economics within higher education, but its a safe bet to conclude that republicans know that material better than democrats.

    My bet is that the proper response to all the questions asked were slanted towards a conservative economic system. One could easily slant it towards a more socialist system by simply teeing the whole thing up by using Germany or Sweden as examples of economic success. Then you would have opposite results would you not?
    'More socialist'? That's a political economic error. You're either socialist or you're not. But there is a bigger issue here. Socialists typically know economics. The socialist calculation debate, for example, led to socialist attempt at mimicking perfect competition. There are some democrats who are socialist. I've seen precious few of them on here mind you...

    Given the choice between economies, I prefer theirs to ours. Does that mean I know nothing about economics?
    Depends. If you base it on morality claim of superiority, then that can be a 'yes'. If instead you base it on an understanding of the limitations of neoclassical economics, then that will be a 'no'.

    Of course not but it would mean that someone who disputed conservative ideas would likely come out as being less informed if the survey was slanted. I do not know how the survey was conducted, do not know the questions but am only making the point that economics itself has very, very few "truths". It may be that we are supposed to know dogma in order to be economically literate. I prefer an ignorant socialist over a trained laissez faire free market capitalist any day.
    There aren't many ignorant socialists. A socialist that doesn't know economics is, in crass terms, de-bollocked. Its not the same with the Democrats. They can simply go back to preaching about right and wrong.

  7. #37
    Junior Member Claudius the God's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Æthelfrith View Post
    This isn't correct as you're not referring to 'basic tenets of traditional economics'. You're referring to aspects within neoclassical economics. The Phillips Curve, for example, was used to find similar ground between neoclassical analysis and bastardised Keynesianism. Equilibrium is used differently across different Schools. It was only inconvenient for the mathematical analysis preferred in neoclassical analysis. Supply and demand was never straight-forward. See, for example, post-Keynesianism and how it refocuses on bargaining power.

    You're not talking about 'basic tenets', you're merely advertising that economics is pluralist and encompasses numerous (often conflicting) schools of thought.


    And that is standard in a pluralist subject...


    Wrong! The debate is particularly strong in microeconomics. Compare, for example, complexity economics to neoclassical economies. Also see how behavioural economics has innovated and changed the focus.


    The problem with macro is the attempt to make it palatable to conservatism. We saw that with the nonsense over the Phillips Curve, spawning bogus debates from monetarism and then new classicalism/new Keynesianism.


    Already answered this! Given economics is, by definition, pluralist, we are not in a position to evaluate whether it is 'right' or 'wrong'. There is no truth after all. However, we can refer to knowledge of economic material. I don't like the fixation on neoclassical economics within higher education, but its a safe bet to conclude that republicans know that material better than democrats.


    'More socialist'? That's a political economic error. You're either socialist or you're not. But there is a bigger issue here. Socialists typically know economics. The socialist calculation debate, for example, led to socialist attempt at mimicking perfect competition. There are some democrats who are socialist. I've seen precious few of them on here mind you...


    Depends. If you base it on morality claim of superiority, then that can be a 'yes'. If instead you base it on an understanding of the limitations of neoclassical economics, then that will be a 'no'.


    There aren't many ignorant socialists. A socialist that doesn't know economics is, in crass terms, de-bollocked. Its not the same with the Democrats. They can simply go back to preaching about right and wrong.
    Great responses and thanks for the care in responding. So do you know by what criteria the top post suggested liberals knew less than conservatives? Since both of us agree that there is a whole range of ideas about economics (I was unaware that micro is still in question, it seems pretty simple to me but you taught me something here), how exactly is someone supposed to prove or disprove knowledge about economics in such a survey? Also, why is morality not a variable or component of modern economic thought? Surely it was to Adam Smith and Karl Marx, why did we throw it away? I know the answer to that one, thank you Milton Friedman. I took my econ in the late 70s, got a business degree. One of the mandatory classes was "Social Responsibility". I doubt it it is still part of a basic curriculum anymore.
    Last edited by Claudius the God; 19th July 2017 at 10:51 AM.

  8. #38
    Scucca Æthelfrith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudius the God View Post
    Great responses and thanks for the care in responding. So do you know by what criteria the top post suggested liberals knew less than conservatives?
    The survey material used is certainly focused on financial economics and neoclassical concepts.

    Since both of us agree that there is a whole range of ideas about economics (I was unaware that micro is still in question, it seems pretty simple to me but you taught me something here), how exactly is someone supposed to prove or disprove knowledge about economics in such a survey?
    We can reject neoclassical economics, but we need to know that economics to be able to do that. The Marxists I know tend to be very knowledgable about the concepts used. Indeed, I have a Marxist mate who publishes research on neoclassical economic theory. Makes me chortle, but that's a weird sense of humour for you.

    Also, why is morality not a variable or component of modern economic thought? Surely it was to Adam Smith and Karl Marx, why did we throw it away?
    Don't get me wrong, there is a warped value structure in neoclassical economics. Its more about focus. A socialist can refer to economic theory and back it up with evidence. He/she isn't restricted to simply trying to impose a specific form of righteousness.

  9. #39
    Junior Member Claudius the God's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Æthelfrith View Post
    The survey material used is certainly focused on financial economics and neoclassical concepts.


    We can reject neoclassical economics, but we need to know that economics to be able to do that. The Marxists I know tend to be very knowledgable about the concepts used. Indeed, I have a Marxist mate who publishes research on neoclassical economic theory. Makes me chortle, but that's a weird sense of humour for you.


    Don't get me wrong, there is a warped value structure in neoclassical economics. Its more about focus. A socialist can refer to economic theory and back it up with evidence. He/she isn't restricted to simply trying to impose a specific form of righteousness.
    So what is the conclusion from this survey? Since it appears that in order to be informed one must be knowledgeable about systems that are outdated, perhaps based upon a subjective level of economic morality and whose foundations are being debated within expert circles continuously, what is the point of knowing any of it at all? I only say this because I believe that this survey is simply a way of confirming a bias that liberals cannot manage an economy while conservatives can. Anecdotal evidence tells me that it is not the voter that matters at the macro level, it is the people they elect, the institutions that create public policy and the concepts taught and referenced by those in power. The entire nation could be completely ignorant of any economic knowledge but if the leaders had the right understanding and managed the macro economy "well", it would not matter at all. The real survey should have been for politicians, they are the most dangerous macro players IMHO.

  10. #40
    Scucca Æthelfrith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudius the God View Post
    So what is the conclusion from this survey? Since it appears that in order to be informed one must be knowledgeable about systems that are outdated, perhaps based upon a subjective level of economic morality and whose foundations are being debated within expert circles continuously, what is the point of knowing any of it at all?
    The conclusion is straight forward: Republicans have higher knowledge on economics. Whether that knowledge is skewed in favour of a school of thought we personally may dispute is irrelevant.

    I only say this because I believe that this survey is simply a way of confirming a bias that liberals cannot manage an economy while conservatives can.
    Ahh, I've already referred to the superior economic performance of Democrat Presidents. What we could have, of course, is the influence of morality. While republicans are likely to be older and there more likely to investing, democrats are more likely to rely on their sense of right or wrong. Rather than referring to the inefficiency of inequalities, for example, they simply refer to what they think is equitable.

    Anecdotal evidence tells me that it is not the voter that matters at the macro level, it is the people they elect, the institutions that create public policy and the concepts taught and referenced by those in power.
    But irrationality of the voter restricts pressure on politician. If folk were as knowledgable as socialists there wouldn't be such toleration for such high working poverty etc etc etc

    The entire nation could be completely ignorant of any economic knowledge but if the leaders had the right understanding and managed the macro economy "well", it would not matter at all. The real survey should have been for politicians, they are the most dangerous macro players IMHO.
    Look at Britain. Politicians went for consensus over austerity, despite its economic irrationality. That has only been demolished by the massive increase in Labour membership and an enthused electorate capable of rejecting the folly.
    Thanks from Claudius the God

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