Hume last night:

Some recent surveys suggest a striking gap between liberals and conservatives on the issue of honesty. Polling by an organization called The World Values Survey posed the question, “Is it OK to cheat on your taxes?”

Fifty-seven percent of those who described themselves as “very liberal” said “yes”, compared with only 20 percent of those calling themselves “very conservative.” That same survey in the Washington Examiner found those on the left were more likely to say it is OK to buy goods that one knows are stolen.

Another questionnaire done by the Culture and Media Institute’s National Cultural Values Survey posed a scenario in which an employer would be willing to pay someone in cash in order to avoid taxes and allow a worker to collect unemployment benefits. Forty-nine percent of self-described progressives said they would go along with the plan, while only 21 percent of conservatives said they would.

However, in fairness such data could suggest liberals might just be more honest about their dishonesty.

Ehh… not likely. That conclusion doesn’t seem to mesh with liberal politics. The Examiner ┬ámentions this report and other studies, not connected with the ones that Hume mentions and agrees with me:

However attractive this explanation might be for some, there is simply no basis for accepting this explanation. Validation studies, which attempt to figure out who misreports on academic surveys and why, has found no evidence that conservatives are less honest. Indeed, validation research indicates that Democrats tend to be less forthcoming than other groups.

The honesty gap is also not a result of “bad people” becoming liberals and “good people” becoming conservatives. In my mind, a more likely explanation is bad ideas. Modern liberalism is infused with idea that truth is relative. Surveys consistently show this. And if truth is relative, it also must follow that honesty is subjective.

Exactly so.

Oh, by the way… the Examiner also includes other studies by other groups that report pretty much what Hume mentions. Worth a read. I’ll be pointing to these studies between now and November.

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