I was drawn to a headline on Political Wire today: "College Makes You Liberal" and then saw a video clip from none other than FoxNews. Tucker Carlson was being interviewed about this new study that showed that college students were being indoctrinated to become liberals because they didn't know basic civics.
Well, OK, it's a total stretch but that's basically what he said. Frankly, I haven't looked at the study but I will when I have more time (typically, I never read directions, I just start doing ...). Instead of reading the study, I went immediately to the test: ["Civic Literacy Report Quiz"].
Now, before you go to the test, understand that according to the quiz, "The average score for all 2,508 Americans taking the following test was 49%; college educators scored 55%."
OK, go take the test ...
While you're taking the test, I'll talk about how I did.
Well, I got 81.82 percent, which I'm pretty proud of considering I didn't finish college (I took a number of night classes at the Harvard Extension School hoping to eventually get a liberal arts degree but never finished).
The questions I missed were pretty tough ones: What was the main issue in the Lincoln-Douglas debate (I have still not read this after all these years). I missed a quote from the Gettysburg Address (I have still not gone there but it is on my list of things to do). I missed the question about Puritans and the question, "Free markets typically secure more economic prosperity than government’s centralized planning because ..." (this theory simply isn't true in my mind). I also missed the fiscal policy in a recession question because I don't personally believe the answer (decreasing taxes and increasing spending? ... oh yeah, that's working out really well ...).
There was one other question which I answered correctly but don't agree to be accurate: "International trade and specialization most often lead to which of the following?" The correct answer on the test is: "an increase in a nation's productivity" ... I picked that one correctly. That's the theory at least. The correct answer in real life, which would have been wrong had I picked it, is "a decrease in a nation's standard of living." That's exactly what has been happening in the United States. Maybe the question should be re-written: "Most economists theorize that international trade and specialization more often lead to which of the following?" or something like that. Then, the answer would be accurate. We have to keep after this: Free trade is a theory or technically, a cult. It isn't truth or fact. And it doesn't work either.
So, how did you do? Again, not too shabby for me, at nearly 82 percent and better than most college educators. However, the test is clearly flawed because it isn't entirely accurate when it comes to the theoretical economic concepts. Oh well.