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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Is There Any Way That Weak Employment Numbers In Europe Might Bolster Concerns That Most Economists Are Right About Government Stimulus

Is There Any Way That Weak Employment Numbers In Europe Might Bolster Concerns That Most Economists Are Right About Government Stimulus

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Friday, 01 August 2014 05:28

A New York Times article on new economic data from the euro zone noted a 0.1 percentage point rise in the unemployment rate in France. It told readers that this rise (which is almost certainly not statistically significant):

"is likely to bolster concerns that France is stuck in an economic rut and politically incapable of making changes to labor rules or putting in place other overhauls needed to improve economic performance."

There is no one quoted making this claim, it is simply an assertion of the article. In this context, it is worth noting a piece in the NYT Upshot section by Justin Wolfers, which was also highlighted in Paul Krugman's column today. Wolfers noted the nearly unanimous view among the economists surveyed by the University of Chicago's Initiative in Global Markets that President Obama's stimulus created jobs and that it was more than worth its cost.

In the economics profession there is not much dispute that additional government spending in a depressed economy will lead to more jobs and growth. However, this view appears to have no place in the NYT's reporting on Europe's economy, instead we get unattributed assertions about bolstering concerns.

Comments (4)Add Comment
Rhetoric
written by Squeezed Turnip, August 01, 2014 8:58
Journalism is dead. When the once hallowed NYT has stooped to the level of editors allowing reporters (or , worse, themselves) to offer opinions off the editorial page, we can rest assured that sock puppetry is the new standard, that the press is no longer free but, instead, cheap.
Brain Surgeons Right About Stimulus of Light
written by Last Mover, August 01, 2014 9:35

Brain surgeons discovered long ago an area of the brain that becomes active with light. Therefore the creation of artificial light enabled humans to see everywhere 24/7.

Brain surgeons have yet to find an area of the brain that becomes active with artificial economic stimulus spending. Since there is no one else to ask sock puppets must defer to common sense:

Economics is not brain surgery. There is no evidence that government spending causes jobs that do not crowd out other jobs for a net gain of zero. Therefore brain surgeons agree, the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence of light to shine on the subject by sock puppets.
........
written by djb, August 01, 2014 10:06
"is likely to bolster concerns that France is stuck in an economic rut and politically incapable of making changes to labor rules or putting in place other overhauls needed to improve economic performance."

yes it is clear that the reason we have problems in the economy is because we are not producing enough goods and services

and its all because of those lazy workers

if only these workers would stop being greedy and take less pay and work more hours, then we could start producing enough stuff again

(pay no attention to that steadily increasing productivity behind the curtain)

the mind boggling cruelty behind the greed that supports these economic concepts in amazing
Yes
written by Incubus, succubus, gog and agog, August 02, 2014 9:07
Fix the Times and you fix the world.

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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.

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