Monday, July 26, 2010

War Is Peace

Neil Reynolds in the Globe today, is mouthing the latest talking points from Dimitri Soudas' shop of horrors:
People should, as a matter of principle, prefer a voluntary census to a mandatory census. But the reason to scrap the census has nothing much to do with coercion (which is, in fact, minimal) or with cost (which is, in fact, minimal, too). The reason to scrap the mandatory census is that it, along with a great deal of other government fact-finding, is simply not necessary. Indeed, the government should have made this argument. After all, if the most statist countries of Old Europe are abandoning the coercive census, why shouldn’t we get rid of it, too? From this perspective, the government could have defended its decision as, well, liberal and progressive rather than as, well, conservative and reactionary.

The European consensus is that the census simply isn’t necessary.
It is fascinating when right wing loons embrace "the European consensus", but don't be fooled. As usual, people like Reynolds are just peddling bullshit dressed as chocolate mousse.

It is true that some European countries are moving away from the census as a statistical tool, but that is not because they have become libertarian utopias in the von Hayek sense. The Nordic countries, for example, are moving away from the census by substituting national administrative statistics, based on long established legislative infrastructures (as in not, not, not voluntary), to collect their data. Mr. Reynolds and the rest of Maggie Thatcher's Canadian Auxiliary, would like you to think that libertarianism is sweeping the old world. It is not.

Also, the followers of St. Maggie are not suggesting that we adopt the old world's administrative statistical infrastructure either. Since they are not suggesting a move toward a European administrative based statistics model, I have to conclude that they are simply trying to fool people into dumping the census for ideological reasons. Nice try folks, but go peddle your "chocolate-like" nonsense elsewhere
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