Washington Post columnist Sebastian Mallaby rivals Thomas Friedman as a cheerleader for the U.S. trade agenda. He made yet another appeal on Monday, using arguments that he shoud know are fallacious.
One of these ranks high on my list of all-time favorites for fallacious arguments. He makes the case that growth is the key for reducing poverty (this is true) and then argues that trade is essential for increasing growth:
The commentary on Mitlon Friedman's passing reminded me of the permanent income hypothesis, one of his most important theoretical contributions. The basic argument is that people will plan their annual consumption based on their expected income over their lifetime, not their income at a point in time.
A CODA FOR THE BUSH YEARS. He was describing the ongoing gap in test scores between whites and blacks, but he could have been summing up the past six years in many other ways as well:
�Not only have all boats stopped rising, but the boats that are under water are sinking further down,� said Bruce Fuller, an education professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who contributed to the study.
ALZHEIMER'S. This was a terrific catch by Ezra. If I may just add my own particularly nasty-ass dog in the fight -- Alzheimer's Disease, which struck down my father and every one of his four siblings. It is a disease that takes a horrible toll on almost everyone in a patient's family. The estimated cost of caring for an AD patient is $174,000, and average course of the disease is seven years. The Alzheimer's Association estimates that 16 million Americans might have the disease by 2050.
A GRAND BARGAIN.Barney Frank, the incoming Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, gave a speech in Massachusetts over the weekend calling for a "grand bargain" between business and Democrats. "What we want to do," he said, "is to look at public policies that'll get some bigger share of the increased wealth into wages, and in return you'll see Democrats as internationalists. . .. I really urge the business community to join us."
A MALIGNANT SYSTEM. So far as the personal responsibility wars rage in health care, cancer is a usefully clarifying condition. Its causes are manifold and hard to pinpoint: Genetics, poor luck, environment, lifestyle, and a variety of other mechanisms play a large part. Few tend to see the disease as the direct result of poor choices (save smoking), which makes this Kaiser study on affected families all the more poignant.
WRASSLING WITH DIXIE.Tom's right. His non-Southern Strategy thesis drives people nuts. I know this because I alienated no less than three (3) separate people by mentioning it this weekend, and then finding myself unable to escape the resultant firestorm of offense and anecdote. You can't focus your resources in the Interior West because that person grew up in the South (albeit in a university community), and they know, just know, that the South would greet Democrats as liberators, showering them with chocolate and flowers, if only they'd make a play for their affections.