Thursday, June 19, 2008

Diluting the liquor

According to Aunty Helen, there is a causative relation between alcohol outlet density and criminal behaviour.

Hmmm.

TVHE prodded that one with a stick and found it wanting.

This is policymaking by playing around with the edges for the sake of being seen to do something. Does reducing the number of liquor outlets mean there will be less crime? Forget about the stats - someone please tell me how it is meant to work. I really don't see the linkages.

On top of that, any first-year uni student who has done a stats course should be able to tell you that correlation is not causation. It staggers me that the pollies can stoop this low. Yes - it's de rigeur for Winnie What-me-baubles Peters - but for a PM to use that sort of flawed logic shows how desperate she must be to get the populist vote.

As soon as you start using (and accepting) this kind of shoddy reasoning, sensible policymaking goes out the window.

Let's get the election over with and try to get back some sanity... pleeeeease.

1 comment:

Ruth said...

Agree - it penalises the victim too, since most outlets are owned by the Indian community. And people can drive for crying out loud - they'll just go elsewhere.

No one from anywhere on the political spectrum seems to understand that correlation is not causation. Like we have all those saying welfare causes all the crime.

I said to someone once "If a rich man kills his kid did he do it because he was rich?"
They didn't have answer...