beliefs before breakfast

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Paul Krugman has attempted to explain the closing of the conservative mind. "There are," he writes, "a lot of largely empirical questions whose answers need not, in principle, be associated with one's position on this left-right divide but, in practice, are." He offers us this partial list:

  1. 1.The existence of anthropogenic climate change
  2. 2.The effects of fiscal stimulus/austerity
  3. 3.The effects of monetary expansion, and the risks of inflation
  4. 4.The revenue effects of tax cuts
  5. 5.The workability of universal health care

"I've deliberately chosen a list here where the evidence is," he continues, "in each case, pretty much overwhelming:"

There is a real scientific consensus on 1; the evidence of the past few years has been very strong on 2 and 3; there are no serious studies supporting the view that we're on the wrong side of the Laffer curve; one form or another of UHC operates all across the advanced world, with lower costs than the US system. [...] The point is that there remains essentially no room for independent thinking within the conservative movement.

Could you say the same thing about liberals? I don't think so.

His summary is appropriately harsh:

The point is that being a good liberal doesn't require that you believe, or pretend to believe, lots of things that almost certainly aren't true; being a good conservative does.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on May 25, 2013 11:19 AM.

Jack Katz's The First Kingdom was the previous entry in this blog.

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