The Return of The Daughter of Such Is Blogging
You really have to hand it to The Atlantic who chose to hire as their “Econoblogger” a woman whose facility with numbers would get her fired as a cashier at Wendy’s after two days. Yes, per Balloon Juice, it is Megan McArdle again and what discussion about public health care (see, here, here and here) would be complete without a sprinkling of Famous McMegan’s Bullshit McNiblets.
Long story short, McMegan says that CBO’s numbers indicate an additional $115 billion in spending, Young Ezra (more delicately than need be) points out that McMegan is wrong (go figure) and McMegan responds with:
Ezra, among others, points to the CBO blog follow up which says that $86 billion of the new spending consists of continuing existing levels of spending in the Bureau of Indian Affairs and assorted other agencies. In other words, just because they happened to stick this stuff in the health care reform bill, rather than somewhere else, doesn’t mean we should attribute the cost to the health care bill. A number of readers have mentioned this, so I think this is worth writing more about.
No this is not “worth writing more about” unless your post is as follows:
“I was wrong. I failed to do any rudimentary research and I wrote that post because it fit my world view. Quite frankly, I have made a career out of glibly tossing out “facts” and numbers and pointing out that other people’s work is “unconvincing” when, in actuality, I take at face value anything that large self-interested corporations tell me is true which leaves me more time to flip through Williams-Sonoma catalogs. I am a fraud.”
But, no, she didn’t write that.
As pointed out over at Instaputz:
Pretty sure our side of the blogosphere would be wise to heed the advice of a Klein commenter:
“Megan McArdle has a post up saying “_________.” That’s really not right.”
That right there is about as close to a universal truth as one can get. It doesn’t matter what fills in the blank.
Which is true, but it wouldn’t really matter to McMegan because there is your kind of “universal truth”, and then there is the McMegan Brand of Truth which need only conform to its own reality:
Now, of course, I supported the war, so I can be expected to say something like what I am about to say. My only excuse is that I have been thinking hard about this, trying to pick out what went wrong, and I think that I am willing to admit where I was wrong. I was wrong to impute too much confidence to my ability to interpret Saddam Hussein’s actions; I was wrong to not foresee how humiliating Iraqis would find being liberated by the westerners who have been tramping around their country, breaking things for their own reasons and with little regard for the Iraqi people, for several hundred years. I was wrong to impute excessive competence to the government–and not just the Bush administration, but to any government occupation.
This has not convinced me of the brilliance of the doves, because precisely none of the ones that I argued with predicted that things would go wrong in the way they did. If you get the right result, with the wrong mechanism, do you get credit for being right, or being lucky? In some way, they got it just as wrong as I did: nothing that they predicted came to pass…
McMegan has not failed reality, reality has just failed to convince McMegan that she is wrong.