A left-leaning blog-squatter on Economist’s View repeatedly makes requests for simplistic reasoning, thereby making his level of understanding, that by which all rhetoric should be judged: a measure which is obviously arbitrary.
All expressions are increasingly abstract evolutions of directly experiential concepts, and perceived simplicity in communication is a function of the commonality of experiences shared by the participants. (Hence the still misunderstood nature of evolution as undirected.)
Insight just is the opposite – the communication of unseen patterns – or insight would not be a scarcity and therefore of value, or notice. Quantitatively measured categories require presupposed invariance in the category definition (the variables), while the qualitative nature of human choice, the content of human memory from experience which determines the interpretation of ‘facts’, both serve to undermine such analysis. Our native method of calculation is to use effort, property (objects of utility) and time. Numbers simple help us fine tune our perception and measurement.
Next, history and it’s data are correlative assumptions without an underlying theory of causality described by human action. Historical correlation of events is simply an updated variation of the will-of-god. Facts are not facts unless they have a theory and correlation is not a theory. Mathematics is not causal, only narratives are causal. Narratives are only causal if they are expressed as a chain of human actions which are testable by the application of behavioral norms and comprehensible incentives. So correlative political statements attributing policy to resulting economic factors are not necessarily causal, especially given the time delay. Furthermore, external factors that are more influential than policy must be included or eliminated lest we attribute cause to symptom.
For example, the much repeated error on this board attributing 90’s success to Clintonian policies rather than the lack of those policies interfering in the speculative growth technology, and the fall of the soviet model, and the rise of the chinese model. Politicians have few short term levers. And they are largely punitive (tax and law) or positive (credit) but they have many long term levers Unfortunately our system encourages them to act for the short term, and so does the ideology of class warfare under the rubric of ‘equality’, given the material differences in human capacity for production in a post-agrarian world.
So if this is a forum for political advocacy of a position independent of such understandings, then that’s one thing, but as I understand it, it’s a forum for the discussion of economics, which, as a young and not well understood science, is of material consequence, since economic productivity has replaced religion and moral conformity as the means of compelling one group or another to the bidding of the others by the application of the violence of government through physical, tax, or credit (tax) means.
In other words, many people are make assumptions in order to support a confirmation bias, and rely upon a requested simplicity where none exists, and if it does exist, it does so by requiring that events, and causes, be perceptible to the individual, when the entire reason we have economies and institutions and habits and quantitative tools is to extend that perception, which is naturally limited to property and perceived utility.