Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Jack Welch

Stat Boy

From the editorial page of a Big City News Paper:

Conspiracy World

To live and seethe in that world of conspiracy theories means rejecting any form of objective reality. When unemployment numbers make the administration look good, they are obviously “cooked.” When poll numbers put Mr. Obama ahead, they are skewed. Birth certificates are forgeries. Safety-net programs are giveaways to supporters. Health insurance reform is socialism. And campaign donation disclosure is antibusiness.

Last week, the Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate had fallen to 7.8 percent, depriving Mitt Romney of his standard talking point that the rate had never been below 8 percent during Mr. Obama’s term. No one expected Republicans to celebrate a positive trend for the country, but almost immediately the anchors on Fox News and the editors of right-wing Web sites saw something more sinister: a conspiracy, led by the Obama campaign, to manipulate the numbers to make the president look good a month before the election.

The charge was absurd. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which along with the Census Bureau conducts the underlying household survey, is run by career civil servants and is impervious to political pressure and manipulation, as all but the hypnotized in Washington understand. But, this time, the conspiracy theorists went beyond the usual suspects. Jack Welch, the former chief executive of General Electric, said Mr. Obama’s Chicago staff obviously changed the numbers, though he had no evidence of chicanery beyond the outrageous charge that the numbers came from an “ideologue division of the federal government.”

To Mr. Welch and his fellow cynics, the facts were inconvenient, so they had to be wrong. And not just wrong, but deliberately so. That’s the same mentality that led ideologues last month to accuse independent pollsters of deliberately skewing polls to show Mr. Obama ahead, though no such charges are emerging now that Mr. Romney is improving in the polls. And this trend is reinforced when people who know better, like Newt Gingrich and Senator John McCain, trash the civil servants at the State Department and the Congressional Budget Office. (Mr. Romney, to his credit, did not question the latest jobless figures.)

Democrats aren’t happy about the latest polls, but they aren’t suggesting Mr. Romney is manipulating them, just as they didn’t undermine the Bureau of Labor Statistics when the jobless numbers were high. Many are far more worried about a conspiracy that is verifiable and serious: the concerted effort by Republicans over the last four years to deprive minorities, poor people and other likely Democratic supporters of their voting rights.

That, of course, doesn’t seem to bother those who see “Chicago’s” evil hand everywhere. When there is real-world evidence of political collusion, the conspiracy theorists are nowhere to be found.

But of course, that's just what the Liberal New York Times would say, isn't it!


Suzan said...

He (and/or his arm candy wife) is not gonna write for Driftglass anymore, either!



Esteev said...

"Nice democracy you have here, be a shame if something bad happened to it."

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Jack Welch would have cooked the books, if he were President.

So by the power of projection....

tony in san diego said...

democracy is a vast conspiracy against Republicans.

Bukko Canukko said...

Hey, I used to criticize the government statistics as being faked during the realPresident Cheney Administration. I'm not going to stop doing it during Bush's Third Term just because Obama is nominally in charge. There's been a lot of analysis about things such as the number of people "dropping out of the labour force" which skews the U-3 rate down, f'rinstance. I have more faith in ShadowStats than I do government numbers. TRUST NO ONE!

First rule of politics -- everybody lies to keep their power. Even when it's that nice black president who you'd like to have a beer with. You know, the one who's not a dry drunk who had to swear off the booze because he had too much alcoholic brain damage, like the previous one.

Bukko Canukko said...

That's not to say Jack Welsh (sic) isn't a fuckwit, though. If he had any sense, he'd cite some specifics to back up his paranoia. But he doesn't, because he's an Upper Class Twit of the Year. (You've seen the clip, no need to provide a hyperlink.) Sometimes a fool can speak the truth, even if he does it for the wrong reason.

Jay said...

Isn't this the same Jack Welch who used to be called "neutron Jack" because, like a neutron bomb, he got rid of the people but left the buildings standing?

I worked for a company that had been owned by GE under his watch. Parking for 6,000. About 300 employees left. In the '80s, digital imaging had been invented in that factory, but Welch's management completely failed to profit from it.

doodahman said...

Hey, even Krugman says the employment to people ratio is flat. The numbers are better because the Boomers are retiring so the influx of new workers is only 90,000 over workers leaving, instead of the 190,000 over the last decade (a dubious estimate, but that's what he says). So hooray for Obama, solving the employment shortage by good ol' fashioned TRIAGE. Four years of retirees with no way to gain any traction in their retirement savings and doomed to a dwindling income until bad health forces them out of the workforce, making Obama's job so much easier. Thanks Grandpa! No room for you in the boat, though. It's the ice floe for you!

RockDots said...

I think Leon Cooperman should get Upper Class Twit of the Year, but Welch definitely makes Top 10 Annoying Jerks.

David in NYC said...

@doodahman --

Damn that Obama! Now he's making people get older.

Is there no end to his perfidy?

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Bukko Canukko, I'll take a back seat to no one when it comes to criticizing President Drone Strike.

And the numbers aren't that great, as U-6 shows.

But U-6, like the other measures, is being reported by the BLS to the best of their ability with the available data.

To assert otherwise is to go off into the realm of wingnuttism, e.g. "polls are all biased! except ones we like!"