Of course they are. How can you expect otherwise in a world where Marx is presented to students in Econ courses rather than in Comparative Religion?
Cynical and misanthropic as I am, I’m still regularly amazed by the profound, widespread ignorance of economics displayed by otherwise intelligent, educated people. Granted, I was an econ major so I naturally think that MY field is especially important; hell, I’m sure even the sociology nutjobs manage to convince themselves that what they study has some relevance. But really, economic forces have a tremendous influence on just about every facet of your life: what you do, where you live, how many kids you have, and, as the recent insanity over corn-based ethanol production illustrates, what you put in your belly and your gas tank.
I was watching the promotional clip for Brainwashing 101 that I found saved on my machine at home the other day. There is a college professor interviewed in that film that looks sincerely into the camera and discusses how all the cutting edge strides in economics today are being made in "black political economy" and "feminist economy", as though supply had a race and demand cared about your gender. With crap like that being taught, is it any wonder that ignorance abounds?