Friday, August 24, 2012

Drezner vs the Facts.

Dan Drezner comments on Ferguson and demonstrates that he has no intellectual standards whatsoever.  To him a lie is merely tendentious.  I can only conclude that he is not interested in objective truth.

I comment on Drezner

Fact are facts Mr Drezner.  You assert that Fergusson was "They can be tendentious in their use of facts" involved with " tendentious matters unrelated to his scholarly work" and went on to "compound his economic errors in a Bloomberg interview. "  No reader could guess from this dishonest post that he committed gross intellectual fraud by deleting words when quoting a CBO report in a way which amounted to a simple lie about the content of that report. I quote the proof of gross monstrous intellectual misconduct noted by Dylan Byers at Politico

"in order to get himself out of that predicament, Ferguson decides to edit the CBO report to satisfy his own conclusions:
'If you are wondering how on earth the CBO was able to conclude that the net effect of the ACA as a whole was to reduce the projected 10-year deficit, the answer has to do with a rather heroic assumption about the way the ACA may reduce the cost of Medicare. Here’s the CBO again:
“CBO’s cost estimate for the legislation noted that it will put into effect a number of policies that might be difficult to sustain over a long period of time. The combination of those policies, prior law regarding payment rates for physicians’ services in Medicare, and other information has led CBO to project that the growth rate of Medicare spending (per beneficiary, adjusted for overall inflation) will drop from about 4 percent per year, which it has averaged for the past two decades, to about 2 percent per year on average for the next two decades. It is unclear whether such a reduction can be achieved ...”
Indeed, it is, which is why I wrote what I wrote.'

But Ferguson cut the CBO excerpt off mid-sentence and changed the meaning entirely. Here is how that last sentence in the excerpt actually reads:

'It is unclear whether such a reduction can be achieved through greater efficiencies in the delivery of healthcare or will instead reduce access to care or the quality of care (relative to the situation under prior law.)

So contrary to what Ferguson leads readers to believe, the CBO report does not state that the reduction is "unclear.""

If it is OK for a historian to do this, then what is the point of historiography ?  Or do you not think that accurately quoting primary sources has anything to do with historiography.

I know you don't like Krugman and guess you don't like DeLong, but this disgraceful essay shows that you have no respect for facts or honesty.   

Try to find someone unfamiliar with the case of Ferusson, have that person  read your post and then Dylan Byers post and ask that person if he or she thinks you are a serious and honest person.  I'm sure you can find someone too polite to say "no definitely not" but I wonder if you can find anyone who doesn't say nor or blush or stammer or both when asked.

You absolutely fail to distinguish Ferguson-s general approach, which is indeed tendentious and not scholarly or reflective from the specific case of removing an essential clause *not context text* to lie about his source material.  How is anyone to trust his historiography knowing that he is capable of such an act _  May people have expressed disappointment in what Ferguson has become, because he wrote at least one good book based on archival research.  But, since they haven't gone down into those archives to check whether he falsified his quotations of those primary sources, how can they know whether any of his books are historiography at all let alone good historiography.

If a biologist wrote a cover story for Newsweek and falsified experimental data when challenged, would you argue that it is extreme to discuss revocation of tenure ?  Why do you have no standards for historians at all ?  

What level of intellectual fraud would convince you that Ferguson should not have tenure ?  I am not talking about criminal acts but offences against historiography.  What could he possibly do which he hasn't done already.

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