11 May 2019           home | politics

Reason, Assumption and the Economy

We sometimes don't connect the dots very well. We might assume causation when we are seeing only coincidence, and we might be ignoring pertinent forces.

Judging connections is something forced on historians. We shouldn't think of President Hoover as single-handedly having caused the Great Depression, ignoring circumstances and challenges visited upon him that were not his doing.

Today we have differences of opinion regarding credit for good news about aspects of the economy. The unemployment rate is down at 3.8 percent. The economy's growth rate is up at an annualized rate of 3.1 percent. Democrats are denying President Trump the credit he is claiming. Democrats offer a rival explanation for the recent good numbers, and they describe Trump's tax cuts as not being instrumental in creating the good numbers.

The difference in opinion is common, of course. Reason demands making valid connections, but assumption and simplistic thinking is easier than rigorous analysis.

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Copyright © 2019 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.