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November 24, 2009


robert waldmann

Indeed the freakonomics post shows the very worst side of the economics profession. I would put it a bit differently. For "It’s a particular kind of context-and-responsibility-free analysis, shorn of everything" I would say "It's a particular kind of analysis in which facts, data and reality are completely irrelevant."

At least people who argued about how many angels could dance on the head of a pin did no positive harm.

I think the problem here is the passing reference to recent events. Ayres wanted to write an article about how higher tuition might be a good policy under some circumstances. To tie the post to current events he mentioned a case with very different circumstances.

A debate in which he makes his argument for some polity other than California and you make your counter arguments might be useful.

The utter contempt for facts, empirical observation and well anything any natural scientist would recognise is demonstrated by tossing in an irrelevant reference to recent events which have nothing to do with the topic of Ayres post.

Facts are a decoration. The attempt at serious discussion has nothing to do with mere facts.

But the worst thing is that powerful people listen to us.

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