Thursday, 7 July 2011

All very pretty, such a lovely graph - but where's the evidence?


The Centre of Local Economic Studies (CLES) does itself no favours when it allow comment on economics - complete with graphs and snide remarks about Ronald Reagan - that have no evidential support.

This piece on "Voodoo Economic Development" sets out its left-wing stall early on:

Simple Reaganomics was focused on a ‘having your cake and eating it logic’, which was brilliant in its simplicity, namely that a lowering of taxes would improve the economy and lead to more tax revenues. 

Now there is evidence for that - indeed the article refers to the Laffer Curve. And there may be evidence to support the article's contention that: many places we still need significant and hefty interventions.

It's just that the author - one Neil McInroy - fails to present us with any of that evidence. And its accompanying graph appears to be merely a pretty representation of the writers opinion rather than something with an evidence base. All we have is fine - slightly lefty - words.

Yet this author gets before parliamentary committees, gets high profile places in national publications and leads a significant think-tank. And is unable to provide any link to the evidence supporting his argument for more of the same in regeneration.



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