Tuesday, September 23, 2003
Economics can, at times, be fascinating, enlightening and challenging. Other times, it's just so much bullshit. Especially in the hands of an intellectually dishonest partisan.
Inconvenient statistic? Just rationalize them away.
Here's a prime example: In "Election Economics," Alan Reynolds of the Cato Institute gets out the big shovel:
When government officials asked people if they had a job last month, 137.6 million said "yes." But when employers were asked, they said they had only 129.8 million on nonfarm payrolls. There are several reasons why the number of people on business payrolls is bound to undercount the number of workers. If more people are working at home as self-employed consultants, or working through temp agencies, they would not show up as payroll employees. And "nonfarm payrolls" ignores the fact that agriculture added 155,000 workers in August. What is nonetheless quite remarkable is that these two measures of employment are now much further apart than they were back in early 2001.
Ahhhh, yes, the work-at-home-consultant. Haven't we all, at one time or another in our lives, either been, or known, a "work-at-home-consultant?"
It sounds so much better to say "work-at-home-consultant" than it does to to say "He's unemployed."
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