Kauffman Foundation survey quizzes top economic bloggers
We like the Kauffman Economic Outlook’s quarterly survey of top economic bloggers for a few reasons: the foundation is the legacy of Ewing Kauffman, a farm-born fellow from Garden City, Mo.; the Kauffman Foundation is based in Today’s Farmer country’s Kansas City, a city with plenty of agricultural awareness; and, finally, in its attempt to spread the philosophy of its founder, the Kauffman Foundation is keenly interested in spurring entrepreneurial enterprises—the very kind of enterprises that might help bolster rural and farm life.
Alongside all those factors, the bloggers surveyed are a mixed bag of thinkers who work hard to communicate to other economists and laypeople alike. We like the diversity of opinion delivered from these digital scribblers trying to make sense of the passing scene. The survey is sent to some 200 leading economics bloggers as identified in the Palgrave’s Econolog.net.
Despite a continued cloudy view of the U.S. economy, those surveyed lean toward measured optimism—with 14 percent of respondents agreeing that the economy is “strong and growing” or “strong with uncertain growth.”
When asked to identify policy options to stimulate the economy, these economics bloggers overwhelmingly supported approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, with 77 percent in agreement (25 percent strongly agreeing), while 75 percent favor opening up more domestic areas to oil and gas exploration and drilling. Other preferred policy recommendations included giving states flexibility to set their own minimum wage (67 percent agreeing) and the revenue-neutral adoption of a value added tax (58 percent agreeing). Opinion remained split on raising the top marginal income tax.
Other research highlights include:
• A majority (63 percent) of respondents believe the government is too involved in the economy, despite the largely non-partisan identification of panel members.
• No respondents to this survey characterize the economy as “weak and recessing,” an improvement over previous surveys.
• Asked about the most desirable changes to the U.S. K-12 education system, five changes had over 70 percent support, the strongest being “more flexibility for principals to hire and fire,” with 81 percent agreeing, half of those strongly. Respondents viewed “greater federal involvement” as the most negative of the options suggested, with 59 percent disagreeing.