For Those Who Confuse Correlation With Causation

For those who confuse correlation with causation, we salute you!

It is now possible to assign blame for the current economic crisis.

According to Alexis Petridis, who writes for the British newspaper The Guardian, it is the Australian rock band AC/DC to blame.

The venerable band’s latest release, Black Ice, just became the number 1 recording in Britain. The last time an AC/DC album reached number 1 was 1990 which was also the last time Britain suffered a recession.

In fact, every time the British economy has tanked since 1973, AC/DC has had a number 1 album.

Here are the incontrovertible facts:

Highway to hell

1973: AC/DC form in Sydney, Australia.
Economy: Start of the oil crisis, which saw the price quadruple

1980: AC/DC release breakthrough album Back In Black
Economy: Inflation in UK reaches 20% and unemployment nears 2 million

1990: AC/DC score comeback with The Razor’s Edge
Economy: Recession in UK imminent

2008: AC/DC top UK album charts
Economy: Biggest world recession in decades looms

Petridis feels that if the relationship is causal it goes like this:

AC/DC’s appeal in unpredictable times is straightforward. People crave something uncomplicated and dependable in a time of uncertainty, and rock music has never produced a band so uncomplicated and dependable as AC/DC.

Small wonder that people turn to AC/DC in their millions when the world appears on the brink of chaos. Here is escapism into a world untroubled by sub-prime mortgages, record public finance deficits and the baleful state of the FTSE 100, but escapism of the most comfortingly consistent kind.

Personally, I would prefer to round up the real criminals,  all the libertarian, laissez-faire, supply-side, deregulating, Chicago Boyz, followers of the late “pure market” economist “Uncle Miltie” Friedman. We could dress them in British schoolboy knee pants and force them to listen to non-stop AC/DC. Unless, of course, the Bush Administration would call that torture.

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