Commentary Magazine


Topic: Goldfinger

Goldfinger’s Dictum and the Democrats

Correlation can be coincidence. But the greater the correlation, the less likely it is to be coincidence. As Ian Fleming explained in words he put into the mouth of Auric Goldfinger after his character encountered James Bond for the third time, “Once is an accident. Twice is coincidence. Three times is an enemy action.”

How about 17 times?  That’s the number of states that elected Republican governors in 2010, thanks to Tea Party demands for fiscal conservatism. And as Breitbart reports today, 17 is the number of those states that have seen a drop in unemployment since January 2011. While the national unemployment rate has dropped .9 percentage points since then, these 17 states have dropped an average of 1.35 percentage points. States that elected Democratic governors in 2010 tracked the national decline in unemployment. And some of those states have had increases in the level of unemployment.

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Correlation can be coincidence. But the greater the correlation, the less likely it is to be coincidence. As Ian Fleming explained in words he put into the mouth of Auric Goldfinger after his character encountered James Bond for the third time, “Once is an accident. Twice is coincidence. Three times is an enemy action.”

How about 17 times?  That’s the number of states that elected Republican governors in 2010, thanks to Tea Party demands for fiscal conservatism. And as Breitbart reports today, 17 is the number of those states that have seen a drop in unemployment since January 2011. While the national unemployment rate has dropped .9 percentage points since then, these 17 states have dropped an average of 1.35 percentage points. States that elected Democratic governors in 2010 tracked the national decline in unemployment. And some of those states have had increases in the level of unemployment.

So it could be a coincidence or it could be that Democratic policies don’t work. Me, I’m going with the latter.

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