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View Diary: Right-Wing Propaganda Masquerades as a High School Economics Curriculum (160 comments)

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  •  Basic economics is always taught from the right (14+ / 0-)

    It's a shockingly conservative field, even at 'liberal' colleges.  

    I was always amazed at how my economics professors seemed to live inside their chalkboards, even when the results shown by their graphs were demonstrably incorrect by just looking at the world.  

    It makes sense that they would try to push younger . . .

    Fortunately history class has a liberal bias.  Y'know, because of all the 'facts.'  

    •  I didn't get that impression at all. (6+ / 0-)

      I had an economics 101 teacher that occasionally would go on rants about how idiot the right-wing economics ideology was.

      It was rare, but it was pretty entertaining when that did occur.  Kind of an unrelated topic to most of the basic economics information, but it came up in lectures about the money multiplier and a couple other things.

      Economics and politics are linked, and it's impossible to separate them.  Unfortunately, one party is slowly becoming unhinged from reality, and their ideas about economics are following them.

    •  Basic economics DOES (0+ / 0-)

      have a conservative slant, but that's the nature of the beast.  It's all the nuances and exceptions that students learn later that make these basic rules wrong.  But we can't just not teach the basics (taxes change incentives, etc.) because that lines up with conservative ideology.  

    •  Yes, even Stiglitz's introductory economics (0+ / 0-)

      text gives all of the standard definitions without noting that it matters whether the assumptions contained in each actually hold when you apply the theory.

      Supply and demand works pretty well, even in rather distorted markets, as long as prices can adjust. Elasticity of demand is a very important concept that really applies much of the time, except to luxury goods where increasing the price can increase sales. I could continue, and someday I hope to have the opportunity to write a full critique of textbook economics. But there are so many other things I need to write first. Well, in some ways that's a good problem to have.

      The notion of a Free Market, however, is simply laughable most of the time. It is true that even slight changes of policy in favor of free competition (that is, competition rather heavily regulated to prevent non-free behavior) can have large benefits. It would require radical changes to begin to approach really free competition.

      The first requirement would be total freedom of information. Not just Romney's tax returns, but his company's books would have to be open to public inspection. By the public, not just the government.

      That kind of radical. Just for starters.

      A vast increase in immigration into every country would be necessary. It isn't a free market if you can't get to it.

      That kind of radical.

      No companies big enough to set their own prices. Forget Too Big To Fail. We need Just Plain Too Big.

      That kind of radical.

      And there is plenty more where that came from.

      America—We built that!

      by Mokurai on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 09:05:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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