Thursday, January 12, 2012

Econimic Illiteracy as Mental Substitution

From Bryan Caplan, of the Library of Economics And Liberty. 

Go here. 

Your head will explode. 

Brilliant. 

P.S. - the comments on his post are helpful too. 

Another P.S. - I found the "Dificult Questions" picture on a Roman Catholic site.  The specific post was about the Catholic view of birth control. 
The target question raised in that particular post would be "When is it ok for Catholics to use birth control?"
The heuristic question might be "How do I feel about violating traditions?"
Just guessing. 

2 comments:

Nick Rowe said...

I'm not sure the heuristic approach works at all. I feel very bad about people not having health insurance, but my feelings depend crucially on why they don't have it and how someone proposes to solve the problem.

You might be badly surprised if you asked, "Should people with an income of more than $1 million per year pay an additional 1% in income tax to fund health insurance for the poor?"

A majority of people might go for that proposal without even considering how much those millionaires already pay in taxes, who the "poor" are, how many poor are there, how much revenue will this raise, how much insurance costs, which plans can be chosen, etc.

Then, you can ask a similar question about school funding, saving the environment, etc and get a majority for each. Then you've got the rich having nothing left.

Ezra Klein had an article today on presidents and job creation. You ought to look for it.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Sir,
I'll check that out.
In the example you listed, I think that you're proving the author's idea about the heuristic approach.