Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mitt Romney - A disaster in logic

I will resit the temptation to accuse the republicans of relying almost solely on flawed logic.

From Mitt Romney:

"Now we have more chronic long-term unemployment than this country has ever seen before, twenty million people out of work, stopped looking for work, or in part-time jobs that need full-time jobs, we've got housing prices continuing to decline, and we have foreclosures at record levels. This president has failed."

Post hoc ergo propter hoc I say. Meaning - after this, therefore because of this.

This is a false causation argument, that is saying that because one thing happened after another there is a causal relationship.

What Romney's statement boils down to is:

Obama was elected in 2008
The economy has performed poorly since 2008
Therefore Obama is the cause of the bad economy
Maybe this is true, maybe it isn't, but simply stating that Obama caused the bad economy because it occurred after his election does not demonstrate proof that one caused the other.

A more correct form of causal argument might be:

Bush eliminated financial market regulations
Lack of regulation allowed companies to accumulate too much bad debt
When companies were unable to pay their debt many people lost their jobs due to companies going bankrupt

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