An instapopulist post earlier in the day linked to an economic profile test. Like the 4-square political views tests that place libertarians at the top of the diamond, I felt that this economic profile test was biased to produce a result showing the you are a neo-liberal (of course, otherwise you'd be a heathen).
This is such a disservice to public discourse, and I would like to take the first step in putting together a similiar Economic populist test dealing with economic views.
Below you will find my preliminary suggestion of what it should look like.
Four square, double axes.
The idea is that there are two important elements of economic views.
The first question is whether public policy should center on the creation of economic wealth (i.e. the more money floating out there in the world the better) or social welfare (i.e. the relative distribution of wealth matters.)
The second question is whether the state should regulate the market (i.e. labor laws, etc.) or whether it should accomodate the market leaving efforts to deal with the harm done by the market to private sector groups like churches.
I think that with a set of 20 questions we could create a value attached to responses to locate individual's economic opinions on a grid.
There are four quadrants:
1) Economic Populists: This group believes that social welfare should take precedence over the creation of economic wealth, and that the state should regulate the market to make sure that it is kept under control. They abhor the market because the believe that it renders man and nature alike into nothing more than so many dollar bills. This group favors strong state regulation of wages, and protection for the rights of workers to organize.
2) Rubinites: This group believes in regulation, but puts the creation of economic wealth first. They believe that governemnt investment should be directed towards sectors that increase economic wealth, but are not concerned with how that wealth is distrbuted.
3) Buchananite: This group recognizes that social welfare should take precedence over the creation of economic wealth, but prefers for controls over the market to arise from institutions other than the State. They long for the old conservative social order than placed social taboos on the expansion of the market into many areas, and controled economic activity through social sanction rather than legal mechanisms.
4)Neo-liberals: This group believes that "there is no such thing as society." They think that the summation of the actions of individuals trying to get rich is the best possible outcome for national economies. They believe that the market is a morally superior decision makign mechanism to that offered by democratic elections, because they believe that it allows the intensity of preferences to be indicated through the price individuals are willing to pay to create a certain outcome.
Tell me what you think. Do you think that this is a good start?
Can you think of any questions that we could use?