Recently there have been arguments in favor of quantitative easing (QE) in the US based on the use of counterfactuals, i.e. arguments based on questions about what would have happened to GDP or unemployment had QE not been in place. I argue in this post that such arguments naively imply unjustified causation.
There is an ongoing debate as to whether governments should increase taxes on the top 1% of the population and redistribute their wealth. On one extreme there is the argument by Harvard professor Greg Mankiw and his defense of the top 1%. On the other extreme are his opponents as summarized in a post by Paul Krugman, who appears to also join them against Mankiw’s defense. I argue in this article that both of these positions are extreme because the top 1% tax issue is from one side evaluated based on its economic contribution and from the other side based on the disparity of opportunity, among other things, leading to a false dichotomy fallacy.
I include in this post parts of a chapter from a book I wrote in 2002 but I never published because I thought it was early for it. A have made some editions to the original material.