Monday, August 25, 2008

Fake Economists at the EPI: Part II

One just wasn't enough. You do not have to dig very far into statistics to see that things are slowing down around here, but you are really pushing hard to oversell the trough when you start quoting "workers' median weekly earnings." From CNN:
Nationally, Americans' income has not kept pace with inflation since the last recession ended. In fact, workers' median weekly earnings slipped to $723, down 1.2% from $732 since the end of 2001, in inflation-adjusted dollars, according to Jared Bernstein, senior economist with the Economic Policy Institute.
Senior economist? Economists know where the good income data is, it is hard to study economics seriously without it, so where did Bernstein study economics? Oh, actually he got his PhD in Social Welfare, whatever that means. From the quote it does not appear to include any serious heavy lifting in statistics. He is not even listed as an economist at the EPI, so how does CNN keep getting the impression that they are quoting economists at the EPI? Before I gave it even odds CNN had goofed, but I find it very unlikely that two different writers at CNN have made this error. Why does the EPI just not have their actual economists drudge out there and quote the same thing? Probably because it would give them a sick feeling in their stomach.

Note: Before you accuse me of requiring a PhD in economics to be considered an economist, read this or this.

1 comment:

Matt E. Ryan said...

I would anticipate that most people that hold a PhD in Social Welfare are a fan of The Perfect Substitute.

Or not.