Statistics Can Easily Be Distorted By Your Opponent, Be Leery of Using Them
Reader comment on: NYT on Capital Gains
Submitted by Peter (United States), Jan 23, 2012 11:46
As an aggregate this is true but critics will be mislead by reading short term trends. This is simply because changes take their time to work through the system not to mention other extenuating factors. In a recession revenues may drop even though there is a tax decrease, and during boom times they may increase despite a tax increase.
While statistics provide some meaning they are easily distorted by either side to convince those who only want their views confirmed. In that regard the author needs to be more sensitive to potential cynics by not leaving out certain years as well as adjusting for inflation.
Higher taxes leads to lower productivity, this is an irrefutable law of economics. Liberals are less concerned with productivity as their goal is maximizing revenue. Since they subscribe to Keynesian theories that spending fosters growth they discount production/investment in their application of tax policy.
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