10 Essential Economic Truths Liberals Need to Learn

Economics is called the “dismal science,” and maybe it is. It seems to me, however, when the basics are taught properly, it’s not as dismal as it might be.

Jeffrey Dorfman’s bio reads in part: “A a professor of economics at The University of Georgia and consultant on economic issues to a variety of corporations and local governments.” Dorfman’s above titled article posted at Forbes is excellent, though I would add one important caveat: it’s not just liberals who need to learn his list of “truths.” Many who call themselves “moderate” or “conservative” don’t quite get it either.

Here is Dorfman’s intro and just the list:

Today’s political climate is highly partisan. Debates are full of personal attacks, harsh words, and complete disagreements as each side clings tightly to strongly held beliefs. Part of the difficulty in reaching the compromises necessary to get things done in Washington is that the two parties believe so many opposite theories with each side sure that their opinion represents fact. With that in mind, here are ten economic facts that liberals need to learn.

1) Government cannot create wealth, jobs, or income.

2) Income inequality does not affect the economy.

3) Low wages are not corporate exploitation.

4) Environmental over-regulation is a regressive tax that falls hardest on the poor.

5) Education is not a public good.

6) High CEO pay is no worse than high pay to athletes or movie stars.

7) Consumer spending is not what drives the economy.

8) When government provides things for free, they will end up being low quality, cost more than they should, and may disappear when most needed.

9) Government cannot correct cosmic injustice.

10) There is no such thing as a free lunch.

I keep saying that all of the issues are the same when it comes to the information war. Some Republicans think the key to victory is to drop the social issues because they say we’re losing the public on them. Don’t ask me why those same Republicans think we’re winning the public on the economic issues. We’re not.

If you’ve got a few minutes, Dorfman’s article is well worth your time. He has a paragraph explaining each of the ten “truths” and an easy to understand concluding few paragraphs. You’ll find it at Forbes.com.