February 12, 2013
Chris Snowdon on the dishonesty of ‘minimum price’ lobbyists and the prohibitionist tendency:
There is much more that could be said about this thinly veiled piece of lobbying. The inexplicable lack of a control group, for example, or the mystery of why official hospital records were not enough for the authors - instead they created their own “estimates” of how many people died. But the bottom line is that these people are lying with statistics. The result - and almost certainly the intention - of their study is to make people believe that fewer people died of alcohol-related diseases in British Columbia between 2002-09 as a result of minimum pricing. “Nearly a third” fewer in fact.
Theodore Dalrymple on an appetite for doom:
The apocalyptic pessimist… believes that the end of the world is nigh, and secretly is rather pleased about it. If he is of a scientific bent, he does the following: he takes an undesirable trend and projects it indefinitely into the future until whatever is the object of the trend destroys the world. For example, he might take the fact that Staphylococci reproduce exponentially on a Petri dish to mean that, within the week, the entire biosphere will consist of Staphylococci and nothing else. Man will be crushed under the weight of bacteria. Paul Ehrlich is of that ilk. His belief in the end of the world precedes his belief in any particular cause of it.
As Fabian Tassano said,
Thinking, it will be recalled, is the activity one performs before one has arrived at the answer.
And Tim Worstall parses the logic of Green Party leader Caroline Lucas:
60% higher is an interesting definition of lower, isn’t it?
Note Ms Lucas’ use of the term “demand management.” Feel free to share your own links and snippets in the comments.