Carts and Horses, Causes and Effects

Via the Instapundit, we find this gem at The Other McCain:

Do you see what I mean about “credulous certainty”? If you begin with the assumption that the researchers have accurately measured something meaningful — West Virginia, land of opportunity! — and then start blabbering that “the researchers found” this, that and the other correlation, you’re likely to end up making all kinds of foolish arguments, as Matthew O’Brien eagerly does:

The American Dream is alive in Denmark and Finland and Sweden. And in San Jose and Salt Lake City and Pittsburgh. But it’s dead in Atlanta and Raleigh and Charlotte. And in Indianapolis and Detroit and Jacksonville. Fixing that isn’t just about redistribution. It’s about building denser cities, so the poor aren’t so segregated. About good schools that you don’t have to live in the right (and expensive) neighborhood to attend. And about ending a destructive drug war that imprisons and blights the job prospects of far too many non-violent offenders — further shrinking the pool of “marriageable” men.

WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

You have no clue, O’Brien. “Building denser cities” in rural South Georgia? “Ending a destructive drug war” in Eutaw, Alabama? The American Dream “alive” in Pittsburgh but “dead” in Charlotte? You’re attempting to “solve” a problem you haven’t even begun to understand, and in the process making yourself a public nuisance.

Go read the whole thing, it’s great: Carts and Horses, Causes and Effects : The Other McCain.

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