Saturday, July 11, 2015

Whose idea?, part 2

The Eurobarometer survey mentioned in my last post shows more support for the Euro among more affluent, more educated, and younger people.  There was also more support among people who reported reading the newspaper or talking about politics more often.  Men were quite a bit more favorable than women--I expected some difference in that direction, since men tend to follow politics more closely than women, but the gap was surprisingly large.

As far as attitudes, support for the Euro was higher among people who agreed with the statement "In order to save energy, it has been proposed to increase taxes on energy consumption, and decrease other taxes by the same amount. We should therefore not have to pay any more than now."  Economists, and people who've been influenced by economists, tend to be favorable to this kind of thing on the grounds that it gives an incentive to use less but doesn't dictate people's choices.  Ordinary people, however, are often opposed--I think that's mostly because they think it's unfair to put special taxes on something people need.  Support for the Euro was also higher among people who said "yes" to "In your opinion, is it very important, important, not very important or not at all important to help the people in poor countries in Africa, South America, Asia, etc. to develop."

Support for the Euro didn't have much connection to self rated political ideology (the Eurobarometer asks people to pick a place on a ten-point scale going from left to right).  In some nations, support was higher on the left, in others it was higher on the right, but  the connection wasn't very strong in any nation.  I thought there might be a pattern in which support was higher near the center and lower on the extreme left or right.  There was evidence of that in a few countries, notably France, but not in most of them.  So my impression that "right-thinking" (progressive, well-informed) people supported the Euro was correct.  Unfortunately, this may have been another case in which the clever fellows were wrong and the damned fools were right.

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