Sunday, November 16, 2014

Grubergate

Economist Arnold Kling on Grubergate:
I think that the extent to which the attacks on Gruber have become personal is something that every economist, regardless of ideology, will come to regret. I am all for criticizing the ideas and the world view that underlie Obamacare. However, a world in which every economist who steps into the policy arena is subjected to opposition research and “gotcha” attacks is not going to be pretty.
A nice illustration of the Problem with Politics. When talking politics, we just don't play fair. The goal is not to investigate the truth impartially, but rather to cheer our team on. The emotional tail wags the rational dog.

And I say this as an opponent of the Affordable Care Act.

To be clear: the point I am trying to make is that even if Gruber deliberately distorted information, which is clearly immoral, this does not itself prove that the Affordable Care Act is a bad policy. Too many of the attacks on ACA via Grubergate have been merely of the ad hominem variety.

This is not to say that Gruber's admissions are wholly irrelevant to evaluating ACA, but attempting to connect the two must be done with great care to avoid inadvertently stepping over into the Land of Fallacy.
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