Feed on

Greg Mankiw’s freshmen seminar was probably terrific. But one outcome that has me mildly concerned is:

I also asked the students how their views had changed over the course of the semester. Those who started out liberal said they came to appreciate market mechanisms more. Those who started out conservative said they came to appreciate the market’s limitations. In other words, after a few months of reading and discussing economics and public policy, most of them moved toward the political center and closer to agreement.

Given that many of these kids are going to end up being political masters of the universe, I’d prefer infinite deadlock. Watch your wallet and your freedom when something ends up being supported in a bipartisan manner.

2 Responses to “Is That What We Want?”

  1. Econobran says:

    Haha, given the current state of politics, I agree with your last line. I am kind of surprised with Mankiw’s choice of words, with the implied meaning being that the political center is the right place to be. I think a better phrasing would have just implied that they each understood economics more and would use that rather than cognitive dissonance when making decisions and arguments. I am certainly happy that the liberal-bent students understand market mechanisms more, but I can also understand where conservative-bent students were able to see market limitations — such as the flow and accessibility of information. Admittedly, I am more in the Milton Friedman-Hayek cohort, but at the end of the day I’d rather them learn economics from Mankiw than Krugman.

  2. Was_Gonna_go_premed says:

    yea but we can only agree to complete open trade if we reach a bipartisan agreement on it :-P. We’d all also have to agree to abolish a large amount of the government (im clearly ignoring the police etc…). Furthermore I think the actual benefit of this movement is social. Although i see why bipartisanship could be a very bad thing for those of you with Libretarian leanings, but I think that “moving towards the middle” could have some benefits. I am personally very socially liberal, yet i largely support a free market. Many people, however, seem to divide themselves into conservative social and economic policy and liberal social and economic policy. By moving towards the middle in economic terms could it possibly also lead to social liberalization of the right wing? i know all these connections are TENUOUS at best… like VERY TENUOUS, but i just wanted to offer a possible up side…

Leave a Reply