Taking forecasts for truth

Last week, Dutch politics showed off some modest fireworks. On Prinsjesdag, the government presented their financial plans for the coming year and the King summarized the current state of Dutch society. For the next two days parliament engaged in a heated debate about the budget, which functioned as a first rehearsal for the upcoming elections in March. Nothing new under the sun, I thought. What struck me, however, was the heavy use of economic ‘facts’ amongst politicians to back up their arguments. While fact-free politics is clearly reprehensible, using forecasts about the economy as facts can be just as dangerous.

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