Economic Disinformation Misleads Listeners

Published June 13, 2007

Mr. Boyles:

Your claim during the June 6 program that President Bush has to date presided over a net drop in U.S. private-sector employment is simply wrong.

There was a time, following the lagging employment effects of 9/11, that your bit of propaganda was true, and indeed the left tried to use it against the GOP with little success in 2004. But your claim has not been true since early 2005, and even then it was just barely true.

Here are the BLS employment statistics (non-seasonally adjusted):

Furthermore, your claim that the middle class is not realizing any growth in income is also untrue:

You will see that income growth for every major category of worker, whether management or blue-collar or construction, etc., has shown consistent increases in cost of employment. You should also keep in mind (and this is particularly true when public-sector employees like teachers whine about their salaries) that benefits paid to employees (health care, pension, etc) have been rising rapidly for years and represent both a real cost to an employer and a real benefit to employee. So the salary on the paycheck is far from the only thing to consider when looking at employment compensation.

It is true that “the rich are getting richer,” but you make the same tired and incorrect argument of all economic populists by inferring that it means everyone else is getting poorer. The economy is not a zero-sum game (unless run by Democrats, Communists, or people with as poor an understanding of economic principles as you repeatedly demonstrate on the air).

I am not a big fan of President Bush, and clearly there are things to criticize him about, but his understanding that tax cuts produce economic growth has been amply demonstrated in recent years (as it has every time there has been a cut in marginal income tax rates, such as under Kennedy and Reagan.)

You also completely misunderstand the (in)significance of the trade deficit, but I’ll save that discussion for another time.

If you’re interested, I will offer again to join you on air and debate you about any topic of economics you like. I’m not bad on the radio and have guest-hosted some talk radio myself.

I think you do a GREAT disservice to your listeners with all your misinformation about economic issues. I understand you don’t like President Bush. But you should be able to make your point by sticking to immigration or whatever other issue you’re angry about rather than resorting to lies that are unnecessary to make your point.

Ross Kaminsky ([email protected]) is a professional derivatives trader and a fellow of The Heartland Institute.