Statistical Deceit & Moral Hazard

The Economist (February 25, 2012) in its article “Don’t lie to me, Argentina”  encouraged its readers to try for a moment and imagine a world without reliable statistics.

Governments would fumble in the dark, investors would waste money and electorates would struggle to hold their political leaders to account.

What would happen to the financial/stock markets if nations and publicly held companies acknowledged that they no longer published reliable statistics? Obviously the consequences would be immediate and dramatic. Most private investment would dry up for any  non-compliant firms that refused to open or certify the accuracy of their books.

We know this when it comes to money statistics. But that doesn’t mean governments and corporations don’t try to “selectively” improve, massage or just plain suppress certain disturbing or disconcerting statistics in order not to upset or even panic the public about what’s really happening. It’s human nature to try to make a bad situation look better than it really is in order to protect one’s power.

So should we be surprised that the Ontario provincial  government recently decided it was too dangerous to share with the public the statistics about abortion.

The provincial Ministry of Health responded in a statement to the National Post: “Records relating to abortion services are highly sensitive and that is why a decision was made to exempt [suppress] these records”….

Why? Well, because they’re “sensitive.” And indeed they are. As are figures on gun crime, incest, spousal abuse, child abuse, rape, infanticide – crimes of all sorts, as a matter of fact. You’d also have to concede that information related to racial, cultural, or ethnic issues can be, and often is, highly sensitive. Is anything more delicate, given the cultural, religious and political ramifications, than the issue of honour killings? Should Ontarians be allowed access to figures related to immigration, given how touchy the matter can be? Perhaps data related to education and health care should be lumped in as well, given the heated arguments that often break out over policies and practices related to those topics (Kelly McParland: Ontario judges abortion statistics too sensitive to share, The National Post, Aug. 10, 2012).

Tens of thousand of tax-payer funded “medical procedures” are occurring yearly in Ontario. The government, obviously, wants to prevent researchers from discovering those abortion statistics that would probably make Canadians with tender consciences uncomfortable.

Of course, it’s not just the political beasts who want to avoid unsettling the great unwashed public. The Canadian Medical Association in their annual general council meeting on August 15th resolved. as an organization,  to work against opening a parliamentary inquiry into the current science of when does human life really begin. They are terrified that the motion Conservation MP Stephen Woodworth (Ontario) into parliament this past Spring might bring into question the doctor’s comfortable assumptions and profitable business in performing “medical procedures.”

If governments and corporations incur “moral hazard” by playing fast and lose with sovereign debt issues and its accounting sleight of hand, how much more “moral hazard” do the dark hearts of government politicians and medical professionals incur by trying to suppress the statistics about the numbers and the reasons for this huge loss of innocent life.

They are judged by this fact: The Light has come into the world, but they did not want light. They wanted darkness, because they were doing evil things (John 3:19 New Century Version).

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  1. Pingback: Euthanasia and Abortion — Issues of Death and Life - COG Webcast

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