This I Believe

Linda - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on July 30, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: question

I believe in data.

Beliefs and opinions are nice, but they really only have meaning for the person who holds them. If you want to change the “hearts and minds” of those who have at least half a brain, you need data: Hard, cold facts. Otherwise, you’re just another advertisement, trying to sell yet another idea with a torrent of unsubstantiated B.S.

For many years, that’s been the standard in most walks of life, particularly in the media and politics: Just keep repeating the same garbage over and over, and eventually most people will believe it. “Illegal immigrants take jobs Americans won’t do” and “Midwesterners have a good work ethic” are just a couple of examples.

My personal favorite of all time has to be the Laffer curve, upon which the Reagan administration’s “trickle-down” economy was based. The problem is that the Laffer curve isn’t a graph of real data. It was just an imaginary graph Arthur Laffer drew on a napkin to explain his “beliefs” about economics.

God save us from “believers” and mindless followers who try to institute such completely groundless beliefs into public policy.

This I believe.