Tyler Jorgenson

One Entrepreneur's Journey To Find Greatness


Economists & The Election

One of the blogs on my RSS reader is Scott Adam‘s, the author of Dilbert. When I first stumbled upon his blog I was surprised at how intelligent the author of a comic strip could be. I guess I always pictured those guys as have a quirky sense of humor and a good hand, but being a bit dim.

Adam’s recently commissioned 500 economists to do a relatively in depth survey on the Presidential Candidates and how each would affect the economy if they were elected. I would highly advice reading the results and Adam’s thoughts on the results.

I was very impressed by the survey and yet extremely disappointed in the results. One of the goals of the survey was to provide an unbiased view. The make-up of the group was thus:

48% Democrats

17% Republicans

27% Independents

3% Libertarian

5% Other or not registered

86% of the economists surveyed are male, and 65% work in the field of academia or education. The rest are spread across various industries or not working.

This wasn’t what was disappointing. The sad part was the following paragraph:

When asked which candidate for President would be best for the economy in the long run, not surprisingly, 88% of Democratic economists think Obama would be best, while 80% of Republican economists pick McCain. Independent economists, who in this sample are largely from the academic world, lean toward Obama by 46% compared to 39% for McCain. Overall, 59% of the economists say Obama would be best for the economy long term, with 31% picking McCain, and 8% saying there would be no difference.

Very few of the economists were able to cross party lines in their answer. Adam’s provides some good examples of human nature and explores why there were few cross party choices on the answers.

I have a very strong opinion that one of the candidates would be extremely detrimental to our economy in the long run. The changes this candidate would make may at first seem to bolster the people of this great Nation but would in fact be eroding the very foundation on which we can build. What this survey does, however, is show me that the numbers are pretty close in terms of who economists think will best bolster the economy during their presidency so I should partly base my decision on election day on other non-economic issues.

With no ‘clear cut’ and unbiased winner from the survey a lot more questions are raised. I just hope that people take the time to ask.

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