The Dangers Of Publishing Research

Written by:
2 August 2018
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Remember when the Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman said in March 2017 that “there’s nothing in policy that would raise the growth rate” above 3%? Guess he wasn’t considering lowering taxes and cutting red tape as “policy”:

The US economy surged to a 4.1% growth pace in the second quarter, the US Dept. of Commerce announced on Friday. Krugman isn’t the only “credible” economist to get this wrong. And we’re still waiting for the Pulitzer Prize winning website Politifact to update its “fact-check” of Trump’s claim the US could reach 4% growth, which for some reason hasn’t been updated since January.

I wonder how many of these experts have checked in with Trump Anxiety Disorder? The Daily Caller reported on Sunday how Americans are increasingly seeking therapy for symptoms “specific to the election of Trump and the resultant unpredictable sociopolitical climate“.

Monday’s front page of the The Guardian featured an ‘undercover sting’ set up by Greenpeace targeting British free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs for the crime of seeking donations to support its work and promoting its research to politicians. IEA director general Mark Littlewood noted in his brilliant rebuttal “what would be the point of having any research if [they] don’t intend to promote it?

And while we’re talking about promoting IEA research, you should read Christopher Snowdon’s excellent paper published last Wednesday, “Of course sin taxes are regressive“.

In 2016, keynote speaker Lionel Shriver caused outrage at the Brisbane Writers Festival for saying she hoped the concept of cultural appropriation would be “a passing fad“. What isn’t a passing fad is outrage at writers festivals – this year Festival organisers have even booted leftist icons Germaine Greer and Bob Carr for being “too controversial“.

This week, YouTube begun adding a synopsis beneath PragerU videos countering their arguments, and Twitter brought in anti-Trump academics to combat “intolerance”. Libertarian billionaire Peter Thiel discussed the one party state of Silicon Valley, his observations of the “diversity myth”, and human herd behaviour in  this 5,500 word interview to Swiss magazine Die Weltwoche on Sunday.

The book launch for the new biography of NSW Liberal Party founder Sir Joseph Carruthers by IPA Research Fellow Dr Zachary Gorman will be held in Sydney on 21 August by our friends at the CIS. Book here.

Featuring Sean Jacobs, Author of Winners Don’t Cheat and Andrew Bushnell, IPA

“I think there’s really wide reception now, because those sorts of impulses that people have – whether it’s hard work, self-sufficiency, persistence, taking responsibility. Those are the sort of things that young people are crying out for and dying to hear. Young men in particular.”

– Sean Jacobs, Author of Winners Don’t Cheat

Article of the week:

The American Civil Liberties Union used to be superstars of defending free speech but is decreasingly concerned with protecting civil liberties. In Spiked Online on Wednesday, former ACLU board member Wendy Kaminer criticised the ACLU’s retreat from bold advocacy for liberty as shown by its endorsement of the view that free speech can harm ‘marginalised’ groups.

IPA Staff Pick:

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: John Roskam

The 200th anniversary of Emily Bronte’s birthday was on Tuesday. Andrew Bolt and I talk about Wuthering Heights in the third episode of our Great Books of Literature podcast. We go to air on 14 August with our first episode discussing Dickens’ masterpiece Bleak House. This piece from 2013 when The Guardian did their own list of the 100 Best Novels in English explains the brilliance of Wuthering Heights (although it only came in at number 13!)

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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