Mark Thoma has a nice idea in his Correlation is Not Causation: Bush, Spending, Tax Cuts, and Deficits:
I’m hoping to do more examples of “correlation does not imply causation,” so if you come across examples of spurious correlation
Mark draws from the Simpsons:
Homer: Not a bear in sight. The “Bear Patrol” is working like a charm!
Lisa: That’s specious reasoning, Dad.
Homer: [uncomprehendingly] Thanks, honey.
Lisa: By your logic, I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.
Homer: Hmm. How does it work?
Lisa: It doesn’t work; it’s just a stupid rock!
Lisa: But I don’t see any tigers around, do you?
Homer: (pause) Lisa, I want to buy your rock.
Wasn’t it Homer Simpson that got excited about a $5 tax rebate as he failed to understand the looming deferred tax liability brought to him by the large tax shifts (not cuts) that favor the well to do? President Bush is looking for a new Treasury Secretary to market his fiscal policies. I can’t think of a better candidate than Homer Simpson.