blueollie

No, Democrats are not necessarily rational….

Paul Krugman appears to be worried that some liberals are willing to part ways with reality if the like the message:

Matthew Yglesias says that the Sanders campaign won’t care about the warnings from top Democratic economists that its numbers are nonsense, and that it doesn’t need to care. That may or may not be true — my guess is that making growth claims that are even more outlandish than those of the Republicans, and having made it impossible for progressive policy experts to offer a full-throated defense of your position, would do more harm in a general election than he imagines.

But leave the political gaming on one side for a moment: I just want to say how much of a shame it will be if a good piece of the Democratic party’s left wing decides that progressive wonks are the enemy. And yes, I have a vested interest in this business — not because I’m a Hillary shill, not because I’m a corporate stooge, but because wonkdom is a key part of who I am and why I think I can play any positive role.

So, about wonks and progressive values: the reason the joke about facts having a liberal bias rings so true is that this really has become a defining difference between the two sides of our political chasm. On the right, allegiance to voodoo has become obligatory — leading Republican economists fell right in line when Jeb! announced his 4-percent solution. On the left, real policy research and political positions have marched hand in hand. The push for higher minimum wages, to take a not at all arbitrary example, has been mightily helped by the research literature showing that higher minimums don’t cost jobs, a line of research pioneered by Alan Krueger, one of the signatories of that open letter.

And in general, progressivism in America has valued intellectual integrity and openness to evidence, while conservatism increasingly rejects all of that — which is why scientists overwhelmingly lean Democratic.

Yes, scientists do lean Democratic. But the liberal base: well, look at the GMO issue. All too many liberals buy into the woo-woo and claim that scientists that try to explain that fears over GMOs are exaggerated are called “shills for Monsanto” and the like.

So, as much as I’d like to believe otherwise, conservatives have no monopoly on anti-intellectualism.

February 19, 2016 - Posted by | economics | , , ,

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