America’s Econ 101 professors say yes. In their view, the candidates continue to offer ideas and policies that wouldn’t pass muster in their classes — populated by 18 year-old college students.
“There are so many economic ‘misstatements’ being made,” said Jonathan Lanning, a professor at Bryn Mawr who is teaching two introductory economics classes this semester. “And it isn’t confined to any one candidate.”
Michele Bachmann promised to bring back $2 gas. Tim Pawlenty suggested sustained 5% GDP growth was a realistic target. Rick Perry would balance the budget with lower tax revenues.
No dice, say the professors.
Stephen Golub, who is teaching Econ 101 at Swarthmore College this semester, said some of the ideas floated by Presidential candidates would earn a failing grade in his class.
“I think it’s grossly irresponsible what they are saying,” Golub said. “It’s not about economics. It’s about getting elected. They are promising things that are impossible to deliver or make little sense.”
The rhetoric sounds good on the campaign trail. Not in the classroom.
The simple laws of supply and demand render Bachmann’s $2 gas promise void, said Erik Nelson, an Econ 101 professor at Bowdoin College.
Rick Perry labeling Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as treasonous? “Really over the top,” said Golub.
Another professor who teaches at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Michael Salemi, was able to identify statements from six candidates that “would earn failing grades in my Econ 101 class.”
Salemi called Ron Paul’s rationale for returning to the gold standard “one of the most dangerous ideas put forward by a politician in recent years.”
Yet the three ring circus that is the republican party continues…