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Ridiculous Widespread Beliefs

A friend of mine, who wishes to remain anonymous, put this question to me: What are the five most ridiculous beliefs that many people hold about economics or politics – beliefs that should be recognized as ridiculous by any sane adult, regardless of education or exposure to economics? (My friend specifically requested that, in answering this question, I ignore covid.) Great question. Here’s my tentative answer, in order of ascending degree of ridiculousness.

1. Free trade is a plot by elites to enable corporations to profit at the expense of ordinary people.

2. The war on drugs protects us and our children from violence and other crimes.

3. Those immigrants – you know, the kind who mow your lawn, work as maids in the motel you last stayed at, deliver and install the new dishwasher you bought, and are part of the construction crew building the new road in town – are lazy welfare leeches who are stealing Americans’ jobs.

4. Government officials who do not know you care about you enough for you to trust them with power over you.

5. The most precious right an individual can have is the right to vote.