Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Forbes Magazine Promotes Ideologically Driven Junk Economic Data

by Brian T. Lynch

In a Forbes magazine  Op/Ed pieice this month, contributor Charles Kadlec promotes a new economic metric that uses “crowdsourcing” to estimate the number of jobs not created because of government regulations.  The article, entitled “Crowdsourcing a New Report On Government Job Destruction” say, “When the government issues the June employment report on July 6th, the one data point that will be missing is the number of jobs that have been lost – or never created – because of government regulatory, tax and monetary policies. “ 

This newly minted economic indicator, the “Missed Jobs Report”, can be found on the Engage America web site, a right wing nonprofit organization that, “seeks to engage the public discourse on several core issues facing the American people, including the federal budget deficit, tax policy and SocialSecurity.”  Kadlec discloses that he collaborated on the development of the Missed Jobs Report and has a professional association with Engage America (he is one of the principles).  He is a member of the Economic Advisory Board of the American Principles Project and the founder of a Community of Liberty, whose mission is to inculcate the habits and virtue of living in liberty. He served as Economic Advisor to Jack Kemp in his U.S. Presidential bid and during his tenure as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. 

Kadlec is also the author of "Dow 100,000: Fact or Fiction?"  Published in 1999, just seven years before the great recession, Kadlec’s book predicted unprecedented prosperity in the decades to come with the Dow tipping the 100,000 mark.  Here is a excerpt from the publisher promo: “Charles W. Kadlec has a startling answer: we are at an historic moment: the beginning of a Great Prosperity - a decade or more of above average economic growth. What lies ahead is a period of unparalleled opportunities for investors with a strategic outlook.” 

So how did that work out for him?  His book is currently on sale at Amazon for the low, low price of one penny.  No kidding: [Dow 100,000 Charles W. Kadlec Best Price $0.01 or Buy New]

Crowdsourcing, as it is used to create the Missed Jobs Report, appears to be nothing more than a collection (a “database”?) of news articles from sources like the Wall Street Journal, American Spectator and The Huffington Post in which someone claims that a government regulation is threatening job losses at their company or in their community.  Without any further verification or analysis, the number of job threats being claimed in these articles are added up to produce the Missed Jobs Report.  There is no verification whatsoever to any of these claims as far as I can see.  This methodology amounts to massive rumor mongering that is obviously designed to promote an ideological opposition to government regulations. In my opinion this is pure propaganda.  

In another topic addressed on Kadlec’s Website, the federal deficit, it is claimed that the Congressional Budget Office projects the debt will be over $20 trillion by the end of this year (2012).  The article blames congresses temporary spending measures and “continuing resolutions” for the spending problems.  No mention is made of the fact that Congress has effectively solved the budget deficit problem, but doesn't like its own solution and is frantically working to undo the budget deficit solution enacted by law.   For a full account of this read "Our Long Term Debt Will Be Fixed If Congress Does Nothing".

So here we have an example of yet another right wing Website presenting bogus data to promote a ideological agenda.  And it is the otherwise respectable Forbes Magazine promoting this garbage economics.  They should be ashamed. 

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