Monday, November 05, 2012

Deterministic chaos and the American way

OK, I surrender. Yes, I know, there is an election tomorrow.

So a long time ago I was studying Russian.  In Russia actually and barely after the collapse of the USSR. So a unique time when democracy was a new and emergent concept to many there. Yet our Russian instructor one day had a comment comparing our two countries.   He said:  In Russia, Politics determines the economy, in America, the economy determines politics.  I still ponder on that.

So today, or tomorrow technically, we will again test this all.  Already Professor Fair's economic prediction model of the election says that Romney should win. Or to be clear, that Romney will win the popular vote.  Nate 'Bayseian über  alles' Silver is clearly prognosticating an Obama win.  Yes, I know Nate says he is not actually predicting anything, merely explaining what the polls mean in aggregate, but still.

Should I be predisposed to Fair's model?  Economists prefer the deterministic.  Even if economics is causal, is his the best model?  I will revert to the superficial and also narrow in on Ohio.  All seem to agree that Ohio is the nexus.  If you agree there is an economic model that determines the result tomorrow then what does economic history tell us about Ohio?  Or maybe the question is what does economic history tell the voters of Ohio?

I just made this graphic up of Ohio's unemployment rate since 1976 with presidential party identified by color.  The question is... donning the veil of ignorance, which color would you choose? Your call:

With that I do capitulate.  I can't take any more election coverage.  Star Wars reruns win.


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