It’s often noted that a practical working definition of insanity is to try the same thing over and over again with an expectation of different results. In similar vein, it is clear that many of the best loved political and economic theories of the left are non-falsifiable. The intersection of non-falsifiable theory, insanity, and reality can be summed up in one word: Unexpectedly.
Why the ‘Unexpected’ Keeps Happening
Why do so many journalists describe Obama’s foreseeable economic failures as “unexpected”?
by Paul Hsieh | Pajamas Media
If an irresponsible teenager repeatedly crashed his car into a tree
whenever he had a few beers, we would never say his accidents were
“unexpected.” Rather, they would be foreseeable consequences of driving
while drinking. Similarly, we shouldn’t let journalists get away with
describing as “unexpected” the foreseeable negative consequences of bad
Blogger Glenn Reynolds recently highlighted numerous examples
of the media’s increasingly frequent use of “unexpected” to describe
bad economic news. Unemployment “unexpectedly” rose despite federal
“stimulus.” Home sales “unexpectedly” fell despite taxpayer bailouts. ER
visits unexpectedly rose in Massachusetts despite RomneyCare.
Similarly, the Pundit Press blog has rounded-up dozens of examples of such “unexpected” developments since January 2011.
A prime example has been thoughtfully provided to us by the Obama Administration and regularly updated since: The infamous Unemployment with and without the Stimulous forceast:
After the first full year of fail, how can the ongoing failure of the stimulus to impact unemployment as predicted by the authors of that stimulus be “unexpected”?
The answer of course is that it can only be unexpected to those who would reject any data which fails to conform to their theory. Keep this inversion of scientific method in mind the next time someone tells you that “The Science is Settled.” Science is NEVER settled. Accepted theories are eventually supplanted with new theories which better describe the observed behavior.
However, the fact that such government interventions necessarily
stifle economic progress is not news. Volumes have been written on this
topic. The “natural laboratories” of East Germany vs. West Germany,
North Korea vs. South Korea, and communist China vs. Hong Kong amply
illustrated the principle that whenever government forcibly thwarted
people from furthering their happiness and their lives, the result was
misery and death.
The same phenomenon can be observed in the natural laboratories
within the United States. Economist Mark Perry has described how
businesses are leaving California in “record numbers” for states like Texas that offer greater freedom from burdensome regulations. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that 37% of all net new American jobs since the recovery began were created in Texas.
In the comments sections here we see that same tendency to reject data instead of looking to alternate theories which better explain the observed behavior, and a marked unwillingness to examine theories and data inimical to the “accepted wisdom.”
Similarly, when the Mercatus Center released its 2011 Index of Economic and Personal Freedom ranking all 50 U.S. states, they noted two interesting facts.
First, economic freedom correlated with income growth. Second,
Americans “voted with their feet” and moved from states with less
freedom to states with more freedom.
Ordinary Americans understand the link between freedom and
prosperity. So why do so many well-educated journalists and pundits
persist in describing the Obama administration’s foreseeable economic
failures as “unexpected”?
Although some conspiracy theorists may believe this is a deliberate
ploy by media and political elites to destroy America from within, the
actual answer is worse. The problem is not a willful desire to destroy
America but rather a willful blindness to the facts.
Can we afford to leave our nation in the care of those who are willfully blind to the facts?