Friday, February 14, 2014

Stupid Arguments About Obamacare Job Projections

Regular readers will notice I've been blogging a little less, particularly on politics. The truth is I've found less and less to be interested in. There haven't really been new issues and there haven't really been new ideas. And the arguments are getting dumber and dumber. So a few weeks ago the CBO released a report on Obamacare. If you follow good sites you saw stories like WonkBlog's The good, bad and ugly of CBO’s new Obamacare projections. If you followed most of the mainstream media (not even just Fox) for a few days you heard reports of just the last bit that WonkBlog article and you heard it presented wrong.

Most said that the CBO said Obamacare would cost 2 million jobs by 2017. As was pointed out for the next several days they said that that there will be 2 million fewer workers and workers aren't jobs (remember there are 3 unemployed people now for each available job, that's the difference). The bulk of the reason for this is that now many workers stay in a job just for the health insurance. If they had another way to get it, they'd stay at home with their family or retire or something (like maybe go on an extended sabbatical). That makes sense.

So I have a folder of bookmarks to articles on this and was waiting for the facts to settle before writing a post. And that got delayed a bit. Today I see that MIT economist (and MA Healthcare Law Godfather) Jonathan Gruber replied to a recent New York Times Economix column by Casey Mulligan with a good post, Obamacare Critics Still Tell Just One Side of the Jobs Story. He shreds Mulligan for getting the facts of the report wrong, ignoring arguments that work against him and for misrepresenting Gruber and Krugman's view on the topic. Krugman also replied with the subtlety titled, Stupidity in Economic Discourse.

So that's that. Now I can delete that CBO bookmarks folder. At some point I'll get the to Bridgegate one and the several NSA ones.

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