Apr 29th, 2013 | By | Category: Senior Finances

The Nature of Research

I remember when I was attacking the long and tedious process of research and writing for my doctoral dissertation. I mostly remember the pain and agony of attention to detail. But I also remember my advisers telling me that what I studied had to be transparent, and it had to be verifiable by other researchers. Those are just basic tenets of sound study.

Scientific research and study must be inherently unbiased. That is, you start out with a premise and then your data either supports that premise or it doesn’t. Any attempt to manipulate the data to a preconceived conclusion renders the study invalid.

That’s what happened recently when a 28 year old graduate student tried to replicate the Reinhart-Rogoff (2010) study on austerity. He discovered the data is faulty. There are now additional economists who support the faulty data claim.

Tainted Data in a Dirty Study

Progressive journalists fault the Petersen Institute for International Economics who bankrolled the Reinhardt-Rogoff study. They claim the original study was an attempt to provide a basis for right-wing efforts to cut spending and stall the economy into a crisis from which wealthy Americans would eventually prosper.

The only problem is they got caught.

As Progressive Thom Hartmann says, “It’s time for President Obama and Democratic leaders to see the writing on the wall and take a formal stand against austerity. ┬áNo nation, in the history of the world, has ever cut it’s way to prosperity, and no fabricated economic study can change that.” (www.thomhartmann.com)

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