Progressives love to browbeat their political opponents about scientific ignorance. Yet, it is those same progressives who are most often guilty of the most damaging forms of scientific ignorance. reason.com/archives/2015/02/06…
For now, I'd like to set aside those left-wing tendencies to embrace pseudoscience over real science on vaccines, GMOs, and so on, to focus on a far more damaging and widespread form of ignorance: Progressives don't know shit about economics.
Yes, that's right. Progressives are almost always entirely ignorant of the science of economics, yet can't keep their grubby little hands off of economic issues. Most progressives have never taken an economics class, have never read an economics book, and have no knowledge of economic terminology or theory. This contributes a great deal to why these progressives think government intervention is the appropriate answer to every perceived societal problem. They have no knowledge of the damaging economic consequences that result from these actions.
How can you tell if you are economically ignorant? If you first heard of the concept of "price elasticity of demand" from me, then you are economically ignorant. If you think there is a difference between "making health care a right" and "bringing the price elasticity of demand for health care to zero," then you are economically ignorant. If you think prices are higher or lower in different industries and markets because of differing levels of "greed," then you are economically ignorant. If you think there has ever been a country that went from poverty to prosperity while adopting socialism, then you are ignorant of economic history.
This economic ignorance poses a threat to society, because these ignorant people just won't stop voting to repeat the mistakes that economists have observed and tracked for centuries. How do we shine some light into the minds of these people and educate them, or at the very least, prevent them from voting based on their every ignorant whim?
UPDATE: If you find yourself to be ignorant of economics, I don't want you to think that I'm just attacking you. We're all ignorant of things at one time or another. It's not your fault if none of your schools emphasized the importance of learning this science for the sake of functioning in civilized society. So, if you find yourself in that position, I encourage you to take an introductory class on economics if you are able, or pick up a copy of a good economics text and read through it. It will change the way you think about the world. Here are a few: Greg Mankiw's complete text. Economics in One Lesson
. This book takes a more "applied" approach, addressing the most common fallacies that repeatedly arise out of economic ignorance, time and time again throughout history.