Saturday, April 8, 2017

Hot Air "Econ" Bloggers: Still Dumber Than a Box of Rocks

     Thanks to a very busy work schedule, I've had less time to monitor and write about the "analysts" at Hot Air.  But, now that I've got some time, let me play a bit of catch-up.  

     First, we have Ed's latest on the employment report, which contains this lovely observation:

The loss in retail jobs is curious, too. Consumer confidence hit a new high in March, part of an upward trend that started in … October 2016. We’ll get the 2017 Q1 GDP report at the end of the month, but the trend on personal consumption expenditures was good for the last three quarters of 2016, finishing with a 3.5% annualized quarter-on-quarter increase in Q4. Some big-box chains are struggling at the moment — JC Penney, Sears among them — so perhaps it’s more of an adjustment within the sector.

Actually, it's more than an "adjustment" within the sector.  This may have escaped Ed's vast reading spindle, but there is a little outfit called "Amazon" that has completely upended the retail environment.  It's led to several bankruptcies and numerous other store closings.  In short -- it's not an "adjustment," it's a complete rethinking of the retail sector.  Also observe what Ed doesn't note -- the 53,000 drop in construction jobs and the 50,000 decline in education and and health employment.  It's almost as it he can't read a simple table or do simple math.

     And then there's Jazz Shaw, the man who relentlessly crusades against increases in the minimum wage.  How does his simple (and very incorrect) supply and demand analysis of a resource market jibe with this chart of the Seattle unemployment rate:

Despite raising the minimum wage to $15, Seattle's unemployment rate continued to drop and is now at 2.9%.  Once again, the research of Alan Kreuger is born out at the expense of idiots like Jazz.

       I realize that picking on the economic skills of Ed and Jazz is unfair.  Neither have any formal training in the topic, so they're bound to get basic points wrong.  But they continue to write horribly misguided analysis under the erroneous belief that they have meaningful analysis to offer.  And that makes them fair game.  

     Once again, reality -- as in facts and data -- have intruded into Hot Air's little economic world to disprove their basic theories.  Will they print retractions or corrections?  No -- those are only required for the liberal press.  Conservative bloggers have no such code of ethics.