Styalised facts being what they are: CD Howe, the Fraser and CCPA

Some things just pass as fact when further scrutiny turns things around a bit…or at least requires a couple of qualifications. When I see words like *always* and *never* my bullshit sensor goes off the scale.  As for example in this passage from the good cop bad cop of Canadian economics blogs:

One can predict with a remarkable degree of precision the conclusions of such think-tanks as the Fraser Institute (‘markets always work’) or the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (‘markets never work’). With the notable – and laudable – exception of the work of the CD Howe Institute (disclaimer: I have nothing to do with the CD Howe Institute)…

I will grant this much, the Fraser has never made an argument that I am aware of that argues for more, bigger, etc.,  government (although I stand to be corrected can one of readers find some contradictory evidence).  Does such a claim stick to the CCPA?  Last time I checked, the CCPA was in favour of *market based* approaches to climate change.  Not only that they have shown interest in a VAT tax progressive income tax trade-off.

So what gives here?  I dunno perhaps just misplaced centre of the road “ho hum we are the only ones who are balanced around here.”  Yet my suspicions get narrowed when I focus in on the statement:  “(disclaimer: I have nothing to do with the CD Howe Institute) .”  There is that absolute *nothing*.  Hard sell brother.  Word of advice: leave the absolutes for God.  However, the point is, your blogging comrade in arms, and arguably the majority contributor to said blog’s traffic going by comments (110-8 is hard to deny), is an economist affiliated with the the CD Howe.  I link him not because I think I have uncovered some mysterious conspiracy.  Your CD how affiliated economist has been quite open about this. Why, indeed, hide it?   Ah schucks *nothing*.  Forgive me, but your blog is not sub-titled “where I square off against the left, middle and right of the public debate on economic policy, but leave 75% of the floor to the CD Howe.”

But where is the evidence that the CD Howe is balanced: as in neither for or against markets (to stay with a worthless solipsism)?  Some young beaver should do a little qualitative research and see just how many times the CD Howe has come out in favour of more market based solutions rather than less.  If I had to wager I would put at somewhere around 20-25% gov and the rest to the putative markets.  But your unflinching belief that 25 (gov)-75 is the 50-50 scientific balance betrays more than nothing and less than everything.

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