Tuesday, September 13, 2011

This Is An Economist?

Like Stephen Harper, Tim Hudak has as Master's degree in economics. But, as Jim Stanford points out in his latest publication from The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Hudak's economics don't pass the sniff test:

This detailed statistical review of the 13 statistical graphs contained in the Conservative changebook platform document finds that not one of them conforms to the normal requirements of academic or professional practice.
At least three of the graphs (which illustrate various statistical arguments related to the Conservative platform) present data that is clearly false. All of the others contain major errors in the labeling of variables or axes; internally inconsistent or manipulative scaling of bars and data; and misleading or incomplete references to source data.

Martin Regg Cohn writes that Hudak is clearly selling snake oil. Take his pledge to get rid of the debt reduction charge on Hydro bills:

 This sham promise boils down to pretending we’ve already retired the debt, merely because we’ve collected the principal amount — overlooking the minor matter of interest payments still outstanding (as anyone with a mortgage well knows).
The debt remains on the books, but the Tories (who dreamed up the DRC) would magically transfer the burden from ratepayers to taxpayers. I call it the “forgive and forget” approach to debt — a blatant shell game.

Mr. Hudak is in a war against math. The end result will be that he will blow a massive hole in the province's budget. We've seen this bait and switch political campaigning for thirty years. Those thirty years came to a climax with The Great Recession. Does Mr. Hudak seriously believe that people will buy this claptrap?

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