by John Darer
"Babs" appears on Hedwig's blog today stating that there has been a mischarcterization of the intent of his article. I had written that Babener's paper attacks a statistic that he opines is the flawed basis the structured settlement tax subsidy.
This follows an "intellectual discussion" with this author on Friday in which Babener, in the face of criticism from my "Enter the Dissipation Myth "Baboons"" post, asked me to soften a word from "opine" to "imply".
“The absence of such documented empirical evidence to support favorable tax treatment of structured settlements does not negate the validity of the consensus of professional opinion. From a policy standpoint, however, the fundamental importance of this subsidy demands more than mere opinion. A policy that impacts millions of taxpayers and subsidy recipients is deserving of a substantiated empirical foundation.”
" ...for the tax exclusion to be truly justified..."
For the academics...logically if he's saying that something more than the status quo is needed "to truly justify" then he must be stating that it is not currently truly justified. Ergo he is attacking what he opines or implies (take your pick) is "the flawed basis" for the structured settlement tax subsidy.
Play around with the semantics, read the above excerpts, read the paper, if you care, and decide for yourself if Babener is attacking the tax subsidy or not. Decide for yourself whether the spendthrift proclivities or financial literacy of Americans in the past decade is more relevant than pages of cites about people in New South Wales or Ireland. Decide for yourself whether it's worthy of further debate. In my opinion it isn't.
If it's all about use of a flawed statistic, thank you very much, it's an easy fix. But isn't 33 pages an awful lot of space to simply justify a study?
Instead of wasting any more time on this issue let me digest it for you:
- Stop emphasizing the "90% in 5 years" IF you still do. Scan your websites and marketing materials for remnants of any "pernicious" cache.
- Do the usual with Hedwig, hit IGNORE
The begging question... "is Hindert Babener's svengali"? I'm beginning to wonder when tracking links to this blog come from a Wikispaces account associated with Babener. Hindert has been pushing wikis as the Web 2.0 "drug" of choice as hard as he's been pushing factoring to anyone who will listen.
One of the more humorous elements of Babener's paper can be found on page 19 of 33 where he cited Laura J. Koenig's and Hedwig's matinee idol, Associate Professor Adam Scales, and agrees with his analysis that a 1936 studies "historical context of the Great Depression renders it less analagous to the present day". While Scales could be excused on this since he wrote his paper in 2002, we're currently living through a period that has been variously described as "Great Depression 2" or a "Repression". Hmmm.