Causation, Correlation and Detroit

    Let us stipulate that the collapse of Detroit, MI and its recent Chapter Nine bankruptcy filing represents an all-American train wreck of inexcusable dimension. Detroit went from being considered by some the Athens of The West to having a credit rating and crime problem more reminiscent of the Mogadishu of The Midlands. So many people are blamed for the current state of Detroit. But most of what you read is patently illogical.

    Those who have no desire to deal with the truth tend to deliberately invert the mechanisms by which Detroit, MI was reduced to an ash heap reminiscent of Hiroshima without the expenditure of thermonuclear ordnance. The general technique of obscuring what went wrong in Detroit is to deliberately conflate causation with correlation. I’ve read a lot of biased writing over the last few days about Detroit. In every case, the thesis of the article, editorial, or blog post involves describing a result of Detroit’s stupidity as the fountainhead of the stupid itself.

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    Urban Apartheid In New Haven, CT

    The New Haven, CT NAACP has looked at the statistical trends that they feel will drive the future of African-American prosperity in New Haven. What they have seen does not make them happy. In an effort to draw attention to this set of troubling tends; they regrettably entitled their recent report Urban Apartheid. This I find to be historically inaccurate and unjustly polemical in nature. I will lay out my reasons for saying so below.

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