Thursday, August 25, 2005

Hell Freezes Over

He couldn't quite bring himself to do it in his last column, but Krugman reluctantly manages to bring himself to admit, not one, but two "inaccuracies" in last Friday's column.

Corrections: In my column last Friday, I cited an inaccurate number (given by the Conyers report) for turnout in Ohio's Miami County last year: 98.5 percent. I should have checked the official state site, which reports a reasonable 72.2 percent. Also, the public editor says, rightly, that I should acknowledge initially misstating the results of the 2000 Florida election study by a media consortium led by The Miami Herald. Unlike a more definitive study by a larger consortium that included The New York Times, an analysis that showed Al Gore winning all statewide manual recounts, the earlier study showed him winning two out of three.

Of course you have to ask yourself, what type of an "economist" just takes numbers out of a left wing conspiracy rant without checking them? And now that much of the basis of his argument has proved suspect, will he admit the weakness of the original source, the "very judicious work" called "Steal This Vote". What type of grade would he give one of his students for such shoddy work?

Not to gloat too much, but do you really think he would have ever done this if it weren't for the outrage from the blogosphere?

The 2000 election is still an open sore on the body politic. That was clear from the outraged reaction to my mention last week of what would have happened with a full statewide manual recount of Florida.

Yes, Mr. Krugman, and every time you lie, and then continue to cover it up with obfuscations, we will get outraged again.

UPDATE: And of course the grand conspirator-in-chief of the Krugman Truth Squad, Don Luskin posts on this, and points out that even this unprecedented correction, is not quite what it seems. More on this at the Grand Duchess of the Krugman Truth Squad, Michelle Malkin.

UPDATE 2: Well I was so stunned by Krugman's reticent correction that I didn't even really pay attention to the content of his new column. Econopundit makes a rather good point:

It's also true that the unemployment rate looks fairly low by historical standards. But other measures of the job situation, like the average of weekly hours worked (which remains low), and the average duration of unemployment (which remains high), suggest that the demand for labor is still weak compared with the supply. (emphasis added)

I'm sort of impatient with this because the BLS directly measures the demand side of the labor market in several ways. Paul: instead of measuring demand for labor by inference and guesswork, you can simply check the numbers and see what they are.

Looking at Krugman's words I would have to agree with his assertion that the average of weekly hours worked is down (although in France he claims that is a good thing) but what about the average duration of unemployment? Well once again, let's go to our friends at the BLS:

Currently in July 2005 we are at 17.6 weeks, down from a cylical high of 20.2 weeks in February of 2004. What if we compare it to the last economic cycle, the dotcom boom that Krugman called a "miracle". Well the recession ended 15 quarters ago, so let's go 45 months into the Clinton expansion, or December of 1994, what number do we find (drum roll please) 17.8! Or .2 weeks higher than we have now. Once again Krugman finds that everything is relative. If it is happens under a Democrat it is good, if it happens under a Republican, it is bad.