Sunday, September 07, 2003
Self vs. UnThe New York Times reports on the latest unemployment data in its usual unbiased way.
The Labor Department announced yesterday that 93,000 jobs were lost in August, countering expectations that employment would finally begin to expand. The economic recovery in the United States is now in its 22nd month, without reversing constant job losses.First, note how the Times sets up the story: to begin with, it describes what "economists" say, as if there's some well-established, undisputed Economic Truth here. Only then does it describe the Bush administration position, introducing it with a "however" to make it clear that the Bush administration is in opposition to "economists" generally, and hence wrong.
Second, note the phrasing: they "listed themselves as self-employed." The Times is apparently accusing these people of lying. No evidence is presented to support this accusation, of course. Why shouldn't we believe that people who list themselves as self-employed really are?
By the way, the few people who bother to read to the end of a story like this will find, in paragraph twenty-four, the one economist the Times quotes in support of this theory of dishonest unemployed losers:
"Whenever you see a spike in self-employment in this kind of economy, you know that is involuntary entrepreneurship," said Jared Bernstein, a senior labor economist at the Economic Policy Institute.Ah. Count the problems with that:
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