Fact checking scribblers on economic issues

Tough job, that. There is indeed much to be said for ignoring the corporate MSM. ‘Errors and omissions’ seems to be the new normal, which suggests continued orientation to the blogs and alternative media to be better informed and to be rid of the corporate agenda.

In the sphere of economics, those equipped with the basics of economics will know to not suffer fools gladly, life being too short and all that. One distinct benefit is that the writing of some ‘marquee’ columnists who venture to write on economics, writing suspected as nonsense, will be more quickly determined to be so.

And there is always something new from such ‘esteemed’ scribes, undaunted and unembarrassed, as there is always Dean Baker (or Simon Wren-Lewis among others) to dissect and reject the offensive pretense at substance. Here Baker shows why some should clearly be in a career other than journalism, David Brooks Warns of Economic Collapse and War Without TPP. As Baker explains, flights of imagination are not really facts, nor is the stringing together of fairly well-punctuated words called analysis. With customary adept use of chart and text, Baker illustrates the glaring shortcomings of Brooks’ ill-advised effort.

Then, again,  statistician Andrew Gelman, as luck would have it, did a review on the errors committed, The David Brooks files: How many uncorrected mistakes does it take to be discredited? and the conclusion confirms what most have long known – Brooks has been rather exceptional in committing egregious errors, ‘faux pas’, which often remain uncorrected.

Brooks did have a colleague with a very similar propensity, who did finally have to leave the NYT. That colleague’s name may have been something Kristol?


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