Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Kevin Drum is surprised by a poll again

I think very highly of Kevin Drum too. I think he has useful things to say about economics (I don't think that most economists do). I think he is very smart. But he keeps being surprised by polls which shouldn't surprise him

He just learned that Medicaid is pretty popular.

I am reminded that he doesn't use

I don't often have the impression that I have something to teach you. When I it is usually . You would be surprised less often by polls if you searched that site regularly as I do. It isn't totally user friendly, but it convinced me that Medicaid is almost as popular as Medicare.

search for
Medicaid -- the federal health program for the poor
There are two relevant polls which are the second and third appearance of the phrase on the page.

Medicaid ranks above infrastructure and unemployment insurance (and way above defense spending).

Also here
search for Medicaid only the first is relevant.
Not quite as popular as Medicare but very popular.

Or how about
(note I am not googling)
search medicaid again (it appears twice). Again not quite as popular as Medicare but close.
Not useful. All polls as about "Medicaid and Medicare"
"Medicaid" doesn't appear on the page.

Here as very very often public opinion on economic issues is to the left of where you think it is. An earlier example was your belief that people in the USA oppose higher taxes on rich people (I pointed out you were wrong before the mass of recent polling proved you were totally completely utterly wrong).

I have three observations.
1) Orange County is not typical (it isn't as right wing as it was but you are in an unusual place)
2) The Village is less typical. It is hard not to be influenced by famous pundits who claim to have a sense of how regular Americans think. They are all rich and totally out of touch. There is a huge massive incredible gap between VSP opinion and public opinion.
3) Polling literalism may be a problem (although there is no proof of this claim) but it's worth at least looking at polls (you agree as this post shows). If you don't find numbers repulsive, then contains a huge amount of valuable information which can be absorbed quickly and painlessly.

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