Mike’s book is one that people need to study and not skim to reinforce a dearly held slogan.
One of the complexities is that the data cuts across favoured soundbites for political and political/economic announcements. The ‘conservative’ economic announcements of the day are so grossly inaccurate that they mask what liberals get wrong as well in the debate of the day.
Snark alert…hat tip Ken H….The Atlantic carries an article along a similar vein and poor Megan McArdle has to contend with the growing numbers thinking along the lines of ‘Mike’s band of merry madmen’. )
Feb 6 2011, 12:35 PM ET By James Fallows
By Chuck Spinney
This is my last post and I want to thank Jim and Justin [Miller, of the Atlantic web team] for the wonderful opportunity to be a guest blogger. It has been a fun gig, but quite frankly I am running out of steam. But life is an interplay of chance and necessity, and serendipity has just offered up a chance for a final blast.
For several years now, I have been in a analytical battle with an official in the Department of defence over the question of whether Republicans or Democrats are better for the economy.
Newk A. Mineshaftgap is the pseudonym of a senior career official in the Pentagon, with a civilian rank comparable to that of a general in the military. He must remain anonymous for policy reasons — to borrow from the insightful reasoning used by President Merkin Muffley in Dr. Strangelove, Minesthaftgap cannot get into a policy fight, because he works in the “the war room.”
I can tell you this: Newk has a PhD in physics, but he is not a geek. In fact, he is a bit of polymath, with wide ranging interests, including nuclear weapons, ballistic missile defence, battleship and tank design, global warming and carbon default swaps, economics, and the development of metrics for measuring the quality of medical doctors. I have known Newk for about 20 years and consider him to be a good and most interesting friend with solid if somewhat eccentric instincts. Politically, I would categorize Newk as an independent with libertarian biases.
So, as my last blast, let me offer the following link [PDF] to Newk’s latest report on whether Republicans or Democrats are better for the economy. For a knuckle dragger from the Pentagon, his conclusions might surprise you.