Oracle Flaherty Speaks

Oracle Flaherty has brought us great wisdom from his Olympian spreadsheet
Oracle Flaherty has brought us great wisdom from his Olympian spreadsheet

Click for Flaherty's post.

Here is our response:

"Show Us the Proof"

Just who exactly are these "other mathematically inclined individuals" you speak of that share your oracle-like insight about the future financial condition of Westfield?
And what I also want to know is, for all your self-proclaimed prowess with spreadsheets, why don't you create one that proves exactly what you are talking about and share it with the public? That could help all us dummies (which apparently includes the mayor, the city's financial people and Moody's which gives us an A1 rating) who aren't so good with the figures like you are, Dave. Why, instead, do you insist all of us have to reinvent the wheel and do all the research you've been good enough to do for us already?
Not too long ago, there were some famous and very well respected economists who made some pretty startling economic claims about budget debts and the growth of national economies. Their study was used as the rationale for austerity programs in Europe that ended up doing a lot of harm. Then, years later, when they released the spreadsheet that contained the calculations, a UMass student found some very basic errors in it that undermined their thesis. How do we know you haven't made some very bad assumptions as well? We don't. Because you haven't shown us your calculations.
And yet you insist that an entire city to cut an slash simply because you say the math works. Sorry, Dave, it doesn't work that way.
So give the citizens of Westfield a spreadsheet that factors together all your calculations together and exactly where your numbers come from and all your assumptions so we can see precisely how you arrive at your conclusions. Once you've done that, produce a neutral municipal finance expert that can analyze it and vouch for its accuracy. We would both need to agree that this person was unbiased.
Until you can do those two things, my recommendation is that no one should waste any time with you and your doom and gloom predictions for Westfield.