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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Catherine Rampell Explains the Job Numbers Are Not a Conspiracy

Catherine Rampell Explains the Job Numbers Are Not a Conspiracy

Friday, 05 October 2012 14:38

Very nicely done.

Comments (6)Add Comment
Law of Diminishing Political Returns
written by Last Mover, October 05, 2012 3:15
First they came for the 99%.

Then they came for the 47%.

But when they came for the 7.8% ...

It was too late. The return to political lies at the margin had gone negative and backfired.
Calculating Dean Baker's value added
written by beowulf, October 05, 2012 5:08
If you don't blow your own horn, no one else will.
How many states are now running job sharing programs? How many were before you started pitching it?
Since the unemployment number is the net of new hires minus layoffs, estimate the number of layoffs averted by job sharing programs. What would be the unemployment rate be if they weren't averted? If it'd come in any higher than, oh let's say, 7.8%, that's your personal value added. :o)
Tell Rampell to print this one and frame it.
written by LSTB, October 06, 2012 6:41
"...And it came to pass that a media outlet correctly informed the public on economic issues, and Dr. Baker withheld his wrath. Yea.
On Catherine Rampell and Todd Akin. ... And do we have to hear so much from a few media people?
written by Rachel, October 06, 2012 8:00

It is possibly unfair to blame Rampell too much for one imprudent comment. Rampell and Todd Akin. Of course Akin apologized for his exceedingly strange remark, no doubt made after an all-night dance deep in a forest.

Unfortunately, Rampell never apologized for her claim that doctors need to be overpaid, because they are, she told us, smart enough to be financiers. And since financiers are overpaid, due to various market failures, we have overpay the doctors too. Never mind trying to improve, or even talk about, why the markets fail.
And never mind the incredible amount of harm it does us.

Incidentally, the harm done by overpaid doctors goes beyond the cost of their excessive salaries. There is more harm done by the care and information and jobs of which millions of Americans have to be deprived in order to keep the salaries of the doctors so high. City employees all over the country are losing their jobs because of the excess salaries and equipment alloted to the high-paid professionals. Bad enough. But consider the Americans whose lifespans are going down, also in good part because of the denial of services and information due to professional monopolies.

But information on market failures and implications thereof . . . there's no time for us to learn about that, with these trivial "pundits" occupying so much space.
Minor correction: should have said "possibly" rather than "no doubt"
written by Rachel, October 06, 2012 9:09

That's in reference to Todd Akin's making a strange comment, "possibly" after dancing around a fire all night. Meaning, "possibly" being tired, and after conferring in a non-critical fashion with like-minded people.

About physicians being overpaid. Eli Lehrer (self-confessed free-market advocate) wrote a nice piece about overpaid doctors, comparing their salaries with other professionals. And though Lehrer doesn't mention it, GPs also make more than most research scientists.

Uwe Reinhardt also did a piece recently about how much the cost of med school takes out of an MD's takehome pay. Not too bad, 7% or less, over two decades, if MD only makes $160k. (A point UR does not mention, as I recall: how little incentive med students have to shop around for lower med school fees, precisely because their anticipated incomes are so high.)
written by skeptonomist, October 06, 2012 9:21
What Rampell says is correct, but the best way to understand what is going on is to look at the raw total, not the changes. Look for CE16OV at FRED, and then Edit Graph so it starts at 2000. A graph is often worth thousands of words.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.