Bernstein via DeLong…
Brad DeLong’s Semi-Daily Journal
Jared Bernstein on Eddie Lazear
Jared Bernstein thinks Eddie Lazear has drunk too much of the koolaid. He writes:
Why’d Ya Do It, Eddie? When Good Economists Go Bad. By Jared Bernstein
Edward Lazear is a really interesting economist who just weeks ago took the job as chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors. But as did Greg Mankiw, he has already drunk deeply of the magic elixir that flows from the CEA’s water coolers—the one that makes top economists say lowly things.
On Monday, May 8, Lazear and CEA colleague Katherine Baicker (L&B) had an oped in the Wall St. Journal that presented economic data with a level of spin I’m sure they’d never accept from an undergrad.
Essentially, L&B engage in two sleights of hand. First, they try to create the impression that growth over the past few years has been broadly shared, and secondly, they cite long-term tends with no reference to the fact that the gains occurred pre-2000. They then tout Bush economic policies with no regard to the fact that the trends they cite became uniformly worse over his tenure.
Here are a few examples of their misleading arguments.