Weasel Words

Eric observes one of the ways a dishonest argument is presented. When a person trained and educated in the use of statistical measures and the difference between subjective and objective uses conclusions and debate points that avoid such quality, it is easy to infer that he knows his arguments have problems and is trying to keep an escape route open.

My main criticism of Krugman is that, for an economist, he almost never feels the need to use numbers and statistics in his articles. Instead, he employs squishy generalities that are hard to pin down, so that he always has an escape route. By contrast, check out the WashPost’s Robert Samuelson who has an excellent article titled “Retirement at 70.” He presents a thesis (the government can’t support aging retirees), urges for a later retirement age, and lays out the allegations of age discrimination in the workplace. Samuelson is not an ideologue, but instead somebody who lays out a lucid argument with supporting data. Is that so much to ask? I think not.

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