Debating fallacies

En Estados Unidos se discute una reforma al sistema de salud con serias implicaciones para el déficit público en el largo plazo.  Es un debate complicado, pero Tyler Cowen enfatiza varios problemas de la forma en que debaten algunos defensores de la reforma. Problemas de argumentación de este tipo son recurrentes en otros temas distributivos en diversas latitudes y por eso quiero retomarlos aquí:

The fact that Republicans can (correctly) be blamed for making the bill worse does not constitute an argument that the current bill will make things, in fiscal terms, better.

Citing inconsistencies of bill opponents (“but he didn’t scream loud enough about [fill in the blank] way back when”) does not help on this score either.

Another argument I have seen (…) is: If we can’t solve this health care costs problem it won’t matter, therefore we can spend more without making the problem in net terms worse.  That’s a fallacy and you would never apply such reasoning while driving over the speed limit (“I’ll accelerate right now, after all at some point I’ve got to slow down anyway.”)Here is a guide for identifying future arguments in these veins, because they will recur when you have an activist government which wants to be very popular, combined with an under-educated, short-term oriented citizenry:

1. The retreat into the relative: “All the other options are even worse.”

2. Blame the Republicans: “They made the bill bad, not us.”

3. The critic is evil or inconsistent: “Your views are inconsistent, or you are morally questionable, so I can dismiss your worries.”