Sunday, September 4, 2011

Perfect Example of the Fallacy Of The Pre-Determined Outcome...

The Hill, a journalistic publication in DC, has a blog called the "pundits blog" (yes, they channel their inner e.e. cummings and don't capitalize - but that's bone to pick another time), and some guy named Brent Budowsky wrote a post called 'If Al Gore Had Won', meaning the 2000 election.  Some lowlights highlights...
Instead of our current deficits, the Clinton-Gore budget surplus might well have continued under President Gore, instead of the deficits that ballooned under President Bush. The pro-growth and pro-jobs policies of Clinton-Gore, which were ended by President Bush, would have been continued by President Gore.
I am not so sure about that.  One thing that Gore did in his campaign was distance himself from Clinton in all ways, including economically.  Gore always had a little more of the 'true believer' in him, as opposed to Clinton, who was a masterful politician and knew when and where to give in.  As one who campaigned for Gore in 2000 (yes, odd to read, isn't it?), I was very disappointed that he didn't just come out and say "I will continue to pursue the policies that gave us this period of prosperity".  He probably could have won handily with that, but part of me knows that Gore at heart disagreed with the Clinton policy of engaging and compromising with the Republican congress.
The pro-earth policies of President Gore would have made a substantial dent in pollution and taken the offensive against climate change. Gore would have still won and deserved the Nobel Prize, as a world leader of nations.
The line "taken the offensive against climate change" may be true, but as we have seen with the latest kerfuffle of the Obama administration withdrawing EPA regulations, it would have completely devastated the economy long before now.  Interestingly, no one was calling it "climate change" in 2001 (it really picked up around 2006 or so), so this is a complete projection on the part of the author.
Reducing income inequalities, which have shamefully skyrocketed under Bush and Obama, would have been a major priority under President Gore.
I don't remember this being a part of his platform, but I have no doubt he would have given lip service to the notion, just like Obama is now, despite both positioning themselves as the defenders of the poor against the eeeeeeevil Republicans.  Gore is just as much a corporatist as Obama is; all one has to do is examine the subsidies his 'carbon trading' company has gotten recently.

The point coming back to the title of this post is that the author of it is so certain that events A, B, and C would take place had Gore been elected.  That makes fundamental assumptions that just can't be made - it's no different than fallaciously assuming events would be different in a sporting event had X, Y, Z occurred.  Would things have been different under President Gore?  Probably, but to say precisely what would have been different is ultimately a futile exercise.

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