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Archive for August 23rd, 2013

Early this year, I took a libertarian purity test put together by Professor Bryan Caplan at George Mason University.

The good news is that I got a 94. Sounds like a solid A, right?

Well, the bad news is that the test wasn’t on a 0-100 scale. The maximum grade was 160, so it seems I’m just a big-government squish!

In my defense, that still ranks me above the vast majority of people in Washington.

That being said, I’m jealous that my former grad school colleague Matt Kibbe (now head of FreedomWorks) got a higher score. Here’s a summary of the test put together by Ben Domenech.

Libertarian Test Score

So what’s the real story? Am I “a high priest of light tax, small state libertarianism,” as I was described by a left-wing British journalist?

Or am I a closet statist, as suggested by a critic from Canada?

I think I belong on the former category, but I have to confess that I just took a “social attitude” test that was sent to me by a friend in London and the results are a bit disconcerting.

Social Attitude Test 2I was horrified to learn that I got a score of 18.75 for socialism. To be sure, I don’t know if that’s 18.75 percent, or 18.75 on a scale of 0-1000.

Regardless, I’d much prefer to get a score of zero on any measure of coercive collectivism.

And what’s the deal with the 40.625 for tenderness? Makes me sound like some sort of new-age wimp who goes around trying to instigate group hugs.

Last but not least, what’s “radicalism”? Is it simply a measure of being outside the mainstream? Without any guidance, there’s no way of interpreting that score.

Even more irritating, the accompanying analysis says that I’m a “moderate” and “a centrist with few strong opinions.”

On the other hand, it also says that I’m a “laissez-faire capitalist” and that I “would generally be described as libertarian.”

Social Attitude Test 1

My two cents, for what it’s worth, is that the analysis part of this exercise needs some work. But feel free to take the test and add your two cents to the discussion.

I’ll simply state that I can’t be a squish if my policy heroes are people like Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, and Margaret Thatcher.

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