Ilya Somin follows up:
To a large extent, both conservative Republicans and left-wing Democrats tend to “root for their political team” with little regard for objectivity or truth. But it is also the case that knowledge makes a difference. Increasing political knowledge tends to alter one’s views towards greater skepticism about most (but not all) government interventions in both economic and “social” spheres (taxes are an important exception). These results hold true even after controlling for ideology, education, race, gender, and partisanship. Increasing political knowledge doesn’t necessarily make you a libertarian; far from it, in most cases. But it does, on average, make people significantly more libertarian than they would be otherwise.
As does Yglesias:
Inability to see that supply-restrictions on housing raise the price of housing is a big problem. Inability to see that carbon dioxide emissions are leading to ecological catastrophe is a big problem. The good news about progressives is that actual policymaking in, for example, the Obama administration is not based on elementary errors of economic policy. Larry Summers, Peter Orszag, Tim Geithner and their key deputies all understand the situation perfectly well as do leading progressive political commentators like Paul Krugman. Unfortunately, the situation with climate science and the right is by no means parallel in this regard.
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