Damned lies and economic modelling
One resolution this year is to spend more time trying to prevent lobby groups from using dodgy economic ''modelling'' to mislead my readers, states Ross Gittins of the National Times. Canberra has developed a bad case of modelling mania, but most of it is dubious.
The less you know about modelling, the more it impresses you. Any day of the week you can hear politicians demanding to see the modelling behind some figure the government has produced (even if Treasury did a quick calculation on the back of an envelope).
But the worst offenders are business interests, which pay big money to Canberra economic consultants to produce supposedly independent reports aimed at persuading governments to give them something, or at persuading the public to stop the government taking something from them.
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