Friday, November 20, 2009

Regarding "Facts"

Invictus has a piece just below where he highlights a fairly typical event: a public figure making up facts as they go along. Unfortunately, this is more and more of a regular event.

At first I found this existed on the right side of the political aisle. The reality is extremely conservative economic doctrine -- the whole "let the market work it out" argument -- just doesn't work as planned. The basic problem is any system needs rules to survive and prosper along with referees. Imagine a sporting event without a ref. No one would go because eventually it would break down into a fight. In addition, we need rules to create a structure. That's just the way things work.

But we're also seeing this more and more on the left side of the political aisle. As the recovery has continued -- as the data has turned more and more positive -- there are more and more allegations that the data is rigged -- at least the data that is positive. People go on to quote negative data as if it is gospel. And economists are ignorant bastards -- until they're bearish. Then they are to be trusted completely. In other words, people on the left are now guilty of what they accused the Republicans of -- making up facts to fit a preconceived world view.

What we are seeing more and more is the existence of multiple realities where people can find "facts" to fit their view. Think tanks on both sides of the aisle are happy to spin in any direction.

The problem is no one is living in reality. Anything that conforms to their world view is golden; anything that doesn't conform to their world view is corrupt. And as a result of all of this, we're not going to get anywhere.