Saturday, June 24, 2006

LTC Bob Bowman "Scholar"

I have been covering the "Scholars" for 9/11 Truth, both here and on Screw Loose Change. One of the individuals I profiled was LTC Robert Bowman USAF (ret). He flew over 100 combat missions in Vietnam, and has a PhD from CalTech, so on the surface he appears quite an accomplished individual. I discovered, however, that he has some rather nutty historical beliefs.

Evidently he is running for Congress, so when I listened to this speech, given at a recent 9/11 conference, it sounded more like a stump speech for a political campaign, than one given by your typical conspiracy theorist. He started getting into economics, and I was struck by this rather bizarre claim, among others:

Real hourly wages, are now about a third of what they were during the 1950s.

This claim is reflected in some of the material on his website. I have no idea where he is getting this data. It is not only not true, it isn't even close. The readily available BLS data for inflation adjusted wages only goes back to 1964, but barring some unnoticed economic collapse in the late 1950s, I think we can say this makes the point.

If anything this understates current wages, with much of the evidence pointing to overstating of inflation. The Dallas Fed also has an interesting report detailing how long you have to work in order to purchase various consumer goods over the last century. One could argue over the details, but clearly this is an absurd assertion for him to make. What makes otherwise intelligent people become unhinged like this?