Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Reactions to Walker's cooked jobs figures

Late here, but I'll pass along Phil Scarr's excellent takedown of Scott Walker's fake jobs report. I'm particularly drawn by this passage
One of the challenges in any political system is to detach the data and analysis from the political process as much as possible. Dispassionate technocrats are what you need to crunch numbers and give you the information you may need to steer the ship of state whether it’s a town, a state or the nation. My father was one of these technocrats. He was the deputy director of the United States Census. He was a consumate statistician who reveled in gigantic datasets.

He told me that once the technocrats become political, it’s game over. The data no longer serve a purpose to help guide policy, but become a tool to enforce ideology. Welcome to Wisconsin.
And this is my fear as well. If you are allowed to lie and create context-free data out of thin air, and not have the media critically confront you with it, this state and this country is in deep trouble.

Another good response on Blogging Blue is from Zach Wisniewski, further exposing the fraudulence of Walker's claims. And he and Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson then say with a straight face that the release of this new metric has nothing to do with the upcoming recall elections. Riiight.

But it also tells you a couple of other things. As blogger Jeff Simpson pointed out to me on Twitter, if Walker was really up 6 points, he wouldn't have to make up bullshit like this. I'm liking my theory of Barrett really being in a slight lead, despite what faulty public polls are saying. I just don't get why Barrett and the DPW are afraid of calling these guys scummy LIARS. And no, that won't turn off voters, but it will wake a lot of them up, perhaps just in time to save this state.

And the funniest part of Walker's whole tricked-up jobs release, even if you're a dullard Sykes listener and accept it as fact? THE NUMBERS STILL SUCK! Walker's "magic stat" says a little over 23,000 jobs were created in 2011, but we should have been up nearly 40,000, if we kept up with the U.S. pace. So even when Scott Walker cooks the books and claims tens of thousands more jobs than the usual stats show, it's still 17,000 jobs short!

Of course, the real numbers get released tomorrow, with the Walker jobs gap already at 65,000 jobs. And given the timing of these releases, I'm guessing they won't be that good, because why would the Walker folks step on their own "turnaround" theme if the April numbers were strong?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the hat-tip! BTW, I posted a piece on the questionable Marquetter survey data as well. You can check it out here.