My guess is that the people in my audience had less formal education than my non-economist liberal friends, but they were more diverse and independent in their thinking. For these people, unlike my liberal friends, it is obvious why a “right to health care” is a misguided notion.
The political class does not want to take the Tea Party movement at its word. Instead, it wants to dismiss them as angry, bigoted, and ignorant. That is an obviously self-serving approach for the political class, and I think it is unfair.
When I discussed the knowledge-power discrepancy, which is the theme of Unchecked and Unbalanced, the audience understood. The political class does not. In that sense, in the conflict between the Tea Party movement and the political class, it is the political class that is in the wrong.