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Money illusion on the right

The soon to be former Governor of Alaska made some strident comments about macroeconomic policy in a recent Sean Hannity Fox News interview. She claimed that fiscal policy was not taught as part of any course in the college curriculum. Here’s a quote from the interview:

“When you consider that the federal government is about $11 trillion in debt, and we’re borrowing more to spend more … it defies any sensible economic policy any of us ever learned through college…It defies economy practices and principles that tell ya ‘you gotta quit digging that hole when you are in that financial hole.'”

Of course, any beer sodden undergraduate could tell you that Keynesian economics, the science behind the ‘fiscal stimulus’, is indeed taught on most public and private college campuses these days. It’s bundled into a course called ‘principles of macroeconomics.’ You’ll usually find it as a core requirement or elective in a business major or a stand-alone economics program. Some dissident schools teach Keynesianism as heterodox thinking (e.g., Hillsdale College, Grove City College), but nobody imagines that the highly influential school of economic thought doesn’t exist.

Math is hard.

Math is hard.

So, could the explanation for Governor Palin’s comments be that the colleges she attended never offered this course? According to the newsmedia, she attended three community colleges and a four year university over a five year period: Hawaii Pacific College, North Idaho College, Matanuska-Susitna College, and University of Idaho. A quick check of the first step in her academic odyssey, Hawaii Pacific College, shows that they are teaching 12 sections of the course in Fall 2009. So, it is probably reasonable to assume that they were offering the course way back in the late ‘80s too.

Did Palin ever sit through a macro principles course? Hard to say without those college transcripts, but it seems doubtful. Too much math.

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