[FoRK] A choice of nightmares

J. Andrew Rogers andrew at ceruleansystems.com
Sun Aug 31 19:06:23 PDT 2008


On Aug 31, 2008, at 5:54 PM, Christopher Herot wrote:
> The conventional wisdom seems to be that under the Democrats we  
> might get more equitable income distribution but this will come at  
> the expense of economic growth.  However, an article in today’s New  
> York Times by Alan Blinder, former Vice Chairman of the Federal  
> Reserve, points out that since 1948, income growth has actually been  
> higher under Democratic presidents.


That article was an impressive spectacle of cherry-picking data,  
spurious causality, and tenuous correlation. Well done!

Sadly, the population is too innumerate, illiterate, and lacking in  
basic critical thinking skills to even notice brazen spin; the minute  
there are a lot of numbers or science involved, they yield to the  
nearest ideologically compatible authority.  I would like to argue  
that the rampant publication of political garbage like this would sap  
the credibility of the authors, but that never seems to happen in  
practice.


The above article is a textbook example of the same kind of insidious  
pandering to the ignorati that creates climate change skeptics; if the  
above article sounded reasonable and you always wondered how someone  
could be a climate change skeptic, now you know.

Cheers,

J. Andrew Rogers






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