06 Feb 2009

More Hilarious Job Numbers

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One of the central points of IER’s critique of “green jobs” studies is that these studies would assume that jobs could be “created” without destroying other jobs. And it’s not just an issue of taxes or borrowing, but even of workers quitting their current jobs and going into the subsidized sector. To illustrate, suppose the government goes ahead and subsidizes solar panel manufacturers, and they end up hiring 20,000 more people. Unless every single one of those new hires had previously been unemployed, it would be overstating to say that the subsidy “created 20,000 jobs.”

Ah, but these are subtleties. It’s almost conceding too much to argue with the PhDs from the Center for American Progress on the above point, when the people actually writing the legislation say things like this:

Incidentally, what shocks me with the clip is not that Pelosi obviously botched whatever her factoid was–presumably her staff told her to go with 500 thousand and Pelosi isn’t good with numbers.

No, what really shocks me is that the CNN reporter just plays that, and then moves on to the “Republican response,” without saying, “Of course, there aren’t even that many Americans, so Speaker Pelosi’s figure doesn’t make any sense. We contacted her staff, and they clarified blah blah blah.”

Nope, it’s the media’s job just to blindly report whatever our fearless leaders say, with no analysis at all, even if it’s demonstrably false. That’s not an issue of “attacking Pelosi,” or “opposing stimulus,” it’s an issue of knowing that you can’t have more Americans lose their jobs in a month than there are Americans.

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