Does Talking About A Problem Cause The Problem? and other stupid questions
May 31, 2012 3 Comments
Since it’s apparently react-to-things-I-flagged-yesterday day here at RWCG, I felt like I should say something about that paper on whether ‘the debt ceiling debate hurt the economy’. The problem is I can’t figure out how to respond since no matter how many times I read it and spin it around in my head, I parse it as a nonsense question, something that is simply ill-constructed.
To my way of thinking a ‘debt-ceiling debate’ simply can’t, logically, ‘hurt the economy’. The economy could have been ‘hurt’, or gotten markedly worse, around the time the debate occurred, obviously, and I gather this is what the authors marshal evidence to ‘prove’, but that’s a nonsense way of looking at it. If the economy was ‘hurt’, which okay is possible, it’s not because of the ‘debate’ or the ‘standoff’, it’s because of the underlying factors that led to that debate/standoff (which at most ‘released’, or laid bare, those factors). To say otherwise is like saying medicine (however ineffective) caused the disease. So I tend to dismiss this idea as yet another economist-foisted, statistics-heavy ‘analysis’ that is automatically wrong based on the methodology.
But if you want to read a more thorough and measured response, try PostLibertarian.