Bayesian Analysis

What is it? According to the website Stata, “Bayesian analysis is a statistical paradigm that answers research questions about unknown parameters using probability statements.” OK. In English, please?

There’s an equation, if that helps. No, don’t have flashbacks to flunking Algebra. This is pretty user friendly. Here it is.

The formula is: P (A|B) = P (B|A) x P (A) / P (B)234. Here, P (A|B) is the probability that A occurs if B occurs, P (B|A) is the probability that B may occur if A occurs, P (A) is the probability of event A, and P (B) is the probability of event B234. The formula is most often used to calculate what is called the posterior probability, which is the conditional probability of a future uncertain event that is based upon relevant evidence relating to it historically.

Doesn’t help much, huh? OK, the trick is in defining A and B. P obviously stands for probability. Let’s try it this way. Call A the probability that the Democrats won’t make a deal. Then, logically, B would be the Republicans say No to a deal. So let’s plug that in and discuss.

P(A/B) = 0.95 x (0.5/0.75) = 0.63

So according to my calculations, there is a 63% likelihood of both parties failing to make a deal. Where did I get this?

The likelihood of Republicans walking away if the Democrats refuse to deal is 95% – there’s no way McCarthy can blink, right? The probability of the Democrats refusing to deal is 50%, still fairly substantial because of the politics of increasing work requirements with Medicaid amongst liberal Dems. The likelihood that Republicans refuse a deal is higher at 75%. Duh. Do the math and you get 63% likelihood of a default. That answers my question posed in my dream diary. It was 40% a while ago, so that number feels about right to me. Unless something major changes (like the market crashes or the government runs out of money before 6/1), odds are we will default. That is not very encouraging, is it?

What happens then? Already talked about that, so no need to beat the dead horse. Ouch – just watched The Godfather for about the sixth time last night, so dead horses images are vivid right now.

When there is no immediate response from the world financial markets, there will be a miss in Social Security payment – one check late. Can you hear the howling? Can you picture the media frenzy? All the while, real stuff is happening in the world that we aren’t paying any attention to. That is foolish, if not downright dangerous.

What do we need to turn this around? Ganas..desire. Somebody has to stand up and say enough is enough and stop this madness. Who will do that? I am a small voice in the wilderness, but I feel like I’ve been the Cassandra in the room. How ’bout you?

UPDATE 5/21: Did another quick analysis yesterday. The odds are now 75% that the government will default. Things are getting worse. Playing with fire. Check it out

Thanks to the Washington Post for the Cartoons of the week, source of the image. Says a lot, eh?

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