— Walt Whitman, “Leaves of Grass” (via ktsipp)
— Charles Spurgeon (via kari-shma)
As I have been a labor economist for a decade now it is always refreshing to have a new experience. Take for example this column published in The Philadelphia Inquirer on the political fix the current Pennsylvania Governor finds himself in. About six paragraphs into the column the following two paragraphs appear.
Corbett talks a lot about job creation, but Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate is about the same as the national average, and state job growth has been anemic since he took office (partly because the state and local governments have shed 45,000 public-sector jobs since January 2011).
How about the natural gas sector, the industry Corbett has gone to such lengths to protect from burdensome taxes? The truth is a bit hard to figure, with wildly varying estimates from as little as 10,000 jobs since the end of 2010 (which seems low, from the left-leaning Keystone Research Center) to equally dubious industry-funded extrapolations of indirect hirings topping 100,000 a year.
The number on public sector job loss that isn’t cited comes from the State of Working Pennsylvania published by the Keystone Research Center and coauthored by me. In the very next paragraph another number on job growth in marcellus shale IS attributed to the “left-leaning Keystone Research Center” and its numbers are as “equally dubious” as those of an anonymous industry-funded source.
Both the public sector job loss numbers and the marcellus job numbers that come from me are just counts of jobs from Bureau of Labor Statistics data sets involving nothing more advanced than identifying industry codes and calculating the change in jobs within those codes over time. Yet I get the honor of being the unquestioned but anonymous source of the public sector job loss number as well as the pleasure of being the cited “left-leaning” source of a “dubious” job number.
Right about now you should hear the great Bill Withers crooning “Oh sometimes, yeah, it’s true you really do abuse me.”
I could go on but I will brief:
- First this is a textbook illustration of why some folks get upset at being identified as “left-leaning”, as it is used here it is encouraging the reader to discount the source.
- Note the dark humor in being the anonymous source of a number that is just a fact and then two sentences latter being cited as the “left-leaning” source of a “dubious” number.
- Note the darker humor in naming the “left-leaning” source and leaving the “equally dubious” industry funded source unnamed.
A monument at the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon celebrating the Civilian Conservation Corps.
My street tulips.