Quoted almost in full from his March 11 column in The New York Times:
On the list of blind spots for the noneconomist left, I’d put the following views (with some partial rebuttals available through the links):
* Economic growth has almost as many negatives as positives.
* The demise of manufacturing is the economy’s main problem.
* Education is overrated.
* The economy is much more volatile than it used to be.
* International trade is bad.
* Overpopulation is a problem.
I’m not saying every one of these views is simply wrong. On trade, for example, liberals have been right about some things that economists were wrong about. But I do think the views above often end up missing something important.
Of course, you could come up with a blind-spot list for the right, too:
* Tax rates are the main determinant of economic growth.
* The rich will always figure out a way to get around tax increases.
* The United States has the world’s best health care across the board.
* The free market is the answer for health care.
* The free market is the answer for everything.
*Illegal immigrants are a major economic problem.
* Global warming is a matter of debate.
* Inequality isn’t a problem.
* Life is worse today than it used to be.
The difference, I think, is that conservative economists’ blind spots overlap more with general conservative blind spots than is the case for liberal economists and liberal blind spots. That’s not a value judgment so much as an observation: liberal economists tend to be more economically conservative than average liberals.