Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

06/10/2009 (8:42 am)

Stimulus Fiction From the White House

Chris Muir’s cartoon today links to a fine video presentation from what appears to be an ordinary math geek who likes to create visualizations with pennies. The site is called Political Math, and I’d never heard of it before today.

Here’s his visualization of the job losses since passing the stimulus bill, compared to what was predicted by the Obama administration. One and a half minutes.

I wrote a little about this a month ago, but he’s captured a bit more data.

What’s clear here is that the government’s projections of what would happen both with and without the bill were so far wrong as to be meaningless. Given that, any claim regarding how many jobs the bill “saved” are completely meaningless as well — not to mention that economists don’t even pretend they can measure how many jobs a policy “saved” in the first place.

In other words, anything the President says about what the Stimulus bill has accomplished, apart from spending nearly a trillion dollars to reward his political supporters, is pure fantasy.

He’s vowing to accelerate his spending, on the premise that it’s working. If he were simply saying “Let’s stay the course,” I might believe that he really thinks stimulus is working even though he has no data to support the notion. Him saying “It’s working, let’s accelerate,” in the absence of meaningful data, makes me think he really does intend to wreck the US economy. The alternative explanation, that his grasp of economics is that of a college sophomore and he does not really understand what the statistics mean, is looking less plausible; he might be that naive, but I doubt it.

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1 Comment »

June 10, 2009 @ 10:37 am #

It’s never going to happen, but I’d love to see the college level and university level courses he took. I suspect that he had minimal math and minimal science to get his BA, and whatever degree he got at Princeton. Lawyers don’t usually require much in the way of math and science to do legal work, although in some fields it certainly would be a plus.

Assuming what I said above is true, he’s an ignorant man. I would say that I’m reasonably well educated, but with a BS degree from many years ago, I was only required to take Econ 101. I also had Accounting I and II – my choice. The present economic situation is so far over my head…I really don’t understand it, and although I’m trying to comprehend it, I read a certain amount and my mind numbs. Would it be surprising if he tended to listen to his “people” for about 15 minutes and then gets to a “just cut to the chase” moment? Either that or “make it work – do what you have to do”

In other words, I agree – he doesn’t know what the heck he’s doing.

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