The Bottomless Economic Ignorance of Liberalism

We’ve commented before on the bottomless economic ignorance of Bernie Sanders, and only with some effort do we not make this a daily feature. But The Bern outdid himself with this recent tweet:

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Apparently Bernie has never been told the difference between a secured loan and an unsecured loan, let alone the higher lending risk involved in making a student loan to a gender studies major. Maybe this parody picture from our most recent Saturday picture gallery wasn’t a parody after all?

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But why single out Bernie for special attention? This seems to be a disease endemic among liberals, who also are always surprised by the unintended consequences and perverse results of their endless good intentions and policy interventions. Two recent news items offer fresh illustrations this perennial failing.

First, remember a few years ago the outrage over long delays on airplanes on the tarmac at airports? Politicians demanded new regulations banning such long delays, and requiring airlines to return to a gate if a delay lasts longer than Hillary’s bladder can hold out. Well guess what: the regulation has led to an overall increase in flight delays for everyone:

Federal fines on airlines for making people wait on planes for hours on the ground have decreased the length of such tarmac delays, but there’s a side effect: Passengers faced overall longer delays, according to a joint study released today by Dartmouth College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The study found that five-year-old rules established by the U.S. Department of Transportation decreased tarmac delays, especially long ones, but it had an unintended effect of causing other passenger delays mainly because flight cancellations rose and passengers required rebooking.

Who could have seen this coming? “Unexpectedly!”, as Glenn Reynolds likes to say. (I was stuck on tarmac-bound plane once at Chicago O’Hare airport for four hours because of weather, but I was in first class, so with free drinks it wasn’t so bad.)

But wait—there’s more! The Daily Caller reports that New York state is experiencing plummeting revenues after hiking their tax on cigarettes to the highest in the nation:

New York is reaping the whirlwind of sky-high cigarette taxes with a wave of smuggling decimating the state’s revenue.

New York holds the dubious honor of having the highest cigarette taxes in country, with the average pack of smokes in New York City costing as much as $10.60.

New York raised taxes on cigarettes to $4.35 in 2010 from $2.75. In total, cigarette taxes have increased by 190 percent since 2006. The sharp rise has resulted in a raft of unintended consequences which are dealing a significant blow to the state’s finances.

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli reports New York’s revenue from cigarette taxes has plunged by $400 million over the past five years.

Smokers responded to higher prices not by shelling out more cash at the store but by turning to the black market, crossing state lines and buying cheaper brands, such as Seneca, from Native American outlets.

But I’m sure raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour will have no effect on the demand for low-skilled labor. None at all. Because liberal warm fuzzies.

Special bonus Bernie:

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Isn’t Bernie getting too old for Twitter?

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