06 October 2012

Not just Climate Skeptics: What Passes for Thought on the Right

It is ironic that conservatives parade around preaching 'realism' about this or that political issue - until, that is, it turns out that reality shows them to be more or less wholly mistaken. This happens regularly, but yesterday provided a wonderful example.

So, it turns out that Jack Welch* and Allen West are tag-teaming in a campaign to cast doubt on the recent jobs report - the one that suggests some modest improvement in our ongoing unemployment crisis. There is, they insist, clearly a conspiracy among nerds and bureaucrats at the Bureau of Labor Statistics to cook the numbers.  But here is a rebuttal by Krugman that makes the conservatives look as foolish as, in fact, they are.

Of course, Krugman is a pinko, so clearly party to the conspiracy. OK, how about conservative commentator David Brooks on NPR last night? He is the exception that underscores my general observation.

BROOKS: Don't tweet. Too much tweeting going on. You know, people who don't know much about Washington may think that everyone around here is hyper-politicized, but if you actually go into the bowels of the federal government, there are a lot people who don't care that much about politics.
They're numbers geeks. They do their jobs. They go home. They're not that political. And I guarantee you the people in the BLS are totally committed to the numbers. If somebody tried to introduce politics in their work, there would be mass resignations and there would be a lot of calls to reporters at various institutions saying this is happening. So I guarantee you, I feel very strongly it's not happening.
* I have loathed Welch for many years. He was head of GE, where my father worked, during just after the time I grew up in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Not only did the  Welch-led company contaminate the environment in all sorts of ways, they then bailed out of the town and decimated the economy. Welch was the poster child for predatory capitalists. His remarks yesterday simply confirm that he has not changed.
UPDATE (8 October 2012): If you read Paul Krugman you'll have seen this post regarding Welch's sketchy accounting practices while he was at GE.

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