I regret that it is pointless to argue with the closed minds

here, Diana. They are addicted to their fantasy, just as we are addicted to our hopes. Of the two, I'd say that fantasy is the more dangerous addiction. Fantasies never change, Hopes do each year.

My post was a foolish exercise, for all that I think it a true estimate of what is going on. There are also quite a large number of economists and social philosophers on our side.

Did anyone notice the error in the basic data of the study of Reinhart and Rogoff?

<span id="yui_3_7_2_1_1367431638280_3731" style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">"In the world of economic luminaries, it doesn't get much bigger than Reinhart and Rogoff, whose work has had enormous influence in one of the biggest economic policy debates of the age.
<span id="yui_3_7_2_1_1367431638280_3592" style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Both have served at the International Monetary Fund. Reinhart was a chief economist at investment bank Bear Stearns in the 1980s, while Rogoff worked at the Federal Reserve, passing through Yale and MIT before landing at Harvard.
<span id="yui_3_7_2_1_1367431638280_3720" style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Their study, which found economic growth slows dramatically when a government's debt exceeds 90 per cent of a country's annual economic output, has been cited by policymakers around the world as justification for slashing spending."

A grad student went over the spreadsheets they used and re-calculated their work and couldn't get it to come out the same as their conclusions. Specifically, he found that there was no significant slowdown in growth. When he finally got them to respond they said they didn't use all the data they quoted, they cherry-picked and worked out the figures from that. And some of the data was ... odd. Data from New Zealand was from only one year, 1951. A particularly bad year for New Zealand, but right in line with the data Rogoff and Reinhart were looking for.

Google it for yourself if you don't believe me, though it is unlikely to change the granite like intransigance here.

This makes Global Warming scientists look like models of probity, but the controversy has been pretty small.

Rob