Three stories in the Washington Post show why compliance with federal information quality guidelines ought to be mandatory.
Author Archives: Richard Belzer
Laura Meckler of the Wall Street Journal reports that Sen. Bernie Sanders’ proposals to date would increase federal spending $18 trillion over ten years, “an increase of about one third in total federal outlays.”
There are a number of reasons for skepticism concerning these estimates, but missing from the usual list is the fact that regulation is a substitute for government expenditure.
A key principle in the federal Information Quality Act and its accompanying government-wide guidelines is the disclosure of sufficient information that qualified third parties can reproduce the results using the same data and methods. Though this is only a minimum requirement for influential information, it is frequently not met. Federal agencies routinely disseminate influential information without providing the building blocks third parties need to reproduce results.
The August 28, 2015 issue of Science includes a paper shows that published scientific papers in respected psychology journals fail this test. Only 39% of the time could the consortium reproduce statistically significant effects. On average, these effects were only half as large.
Immigration is a key policy issue heading toward the 2016 elections. so it is interesting to see how well the candidates apply economic analysis.
Donald Trump’s campaign has published a policy statement.
To date, we have identified six features of EPA’s conduct that, if committed by a private entity, likely would be correlated with increasing fines and penalties in addition to tort liability. From Part 1:
- The size of the blowout is much larger than EPA said it was.
- The scale of potential environmental damage and adverse effects on human health is vast.
- EPA apparently delayed reporting the blowout to state and local officials.
- EPA was slow to collect data, make it difficult to access, and published it in a format that is very difficult for the public to understand and utilize.
From Part 2:
- EPA is touting the benefits of dilution; the consequences of the blowout are naturally attenuating.
- EPA may be offering to make quick damage payments in return for waivers denying future recovery.
Today, news reports indicate that EPA’s actions at the site which caused the blowout were predicted to cause a blowout. Advance knowledge of an adverse consequence expected to result from an action may qualify as an intentional tort. The federal government’s liability for intentional torts is much more limited than its already limited liability for negligence.