Thursday, January 02, 2014

Disinformation on Inequality

Paul Krugman rips Bret Stephens a new one for his WSJ article. Disinformation on Inequality. He used constant-dollar figures instead of adjusting for inflation, used survey based data that can't track a highly skewed statistic and just uses wrong data in another place.

"The point here, as on so many other economic issues, is that we are not having anything resembling a good-faith debate.

We could have a debate about whether rising inequality is a problem, and whether measures intended to curb it would do more harm than good. But we can’t have that kind of debate if the anti-populist side won’t acknowledge basic facts – and it won’t. In his piece Stephens trashes Obama, accusing him of making a factual error when he did no such thing; then proceeds to commit just about every statistical sin you can imagine in an attempt to minimize the rise in inequality. In the process he leaves his readers more ignorant than they were before. When this is what passes for argument, how can we have any kind of rational discussion?

Oh, and just FYI: this is the kind of journalism that the great and the good deem worthy of a Pulitzer Prize."

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