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Studies prove...
Old 08-16-2006, 08:55 PM   #1
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Studies prove...

The refutation of the census data used by Ty Bernicke's study makes this article especially poignant:

"Whenever I hear the phrase 'studies prove' this or that, it makes me think back to the beginning of my career as an economist at the Labor Department in Washington.
Secretary of Labor Arthur Goldberg was scheduled to appear before Congress to argue in favor of some policy that the Labor Department wanted enacted into law. Down at the bottom of the chain of command, I was given four sets of census data that had not yet been published and was told to analyze these data for a report to go to the Secretary of Labor.
Two of these sets of data seemed to support the Labor Department's position but the other two went counter to it. When I wrote up a paper explaining why this was so and concluded that the statistics overall were inconclusive, there was much dismay among those in the hierarchy between me and the Secretary.
They were also puzzled as to why anyone would write up such a paper, knowing what the Department's position was on the issues. They took my paper, edited and rewrote it before passing it up the chain of command.
Secretary Goldberg then made his usual confident presentation of the rewritten study to Congress, probably unaware of the contradictory data that had been left out.
It was a valuable experience so early in my career to learn that what 'studies prove' is often whatever those who did the studies wanted to prove. Labor Department studies 'prove' whatever serves the interest of the Labor Department, just as Agriculture Department studies 'prove' whatever serves the Department of Agriculture's interests."

He goes on to critique a study of Britain's criminal justice system and U.S. government funding of global warming studies.


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Re: Studies prove...
Old 08-16-2006, 09:57 PM   #2
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Re: Studies prove...

Reminds me about the times I served on Jury duty listening to the "expert" witness. The "expert witness" is nothing more than a person with a bunch of degrees paid to spew out one side of the story.
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