Today I will defer to my clever colleagues, and link to two very brief and insightful posts. (I am just too much the philosopher to do brief, so I have to delegate that :-)
First, check out Chris Snowdon’s expose of UK government plans to lie to the public as they try to implement minimum alcoholic beverage pricing and an anti-alcohol social engineering plan. (Further explanation and analysis can be found in some of his previous posts.) What is interesting about it is that it is not just the usual catching the government in a lie, but watching de facto government actors overtly present their plan for lying, almost like they figure they can so easily get away with it that they do not have to cover it up.
Second, read Kristin Noll-Marsh’s empirical economic analysis of the effects of smoking bans on bars. Those fancy words, by the way, mean that unlike the government and those who control it in this area, who assert that the bans benefit the bars, she went out and made a couple of observations to figure out cui bono, or rather cui malo
(note: I depended on a translate bot to figure out how to say “who loses”, so corrections are welcome) [Update: corrected per comment].
It is just such a shame that we do not have some major institution whose job includes monitoring government (and its allies) and reporting when it is lying to us. Oh, wait.
Well, at least we have bloggers and a few good reporters. On the latter note, and off topic, check out Jeremy Scahill’s reporting on Yemen, about the Obama administration’s stupid little war that you may have never even heard of.
Anyway, how did they get these scoops? Snowdon looked at materials posted on the web from a 2010 meeting. Noll-Marsh apparently thought about the implications of one news report, unlike those reporting it, and drove down the road with a camera. No wonder health reporters have so much trouble seeing through governments’ lies — who has time to do complicated research like that when there is so much transcribing to be done?