Thursday, August 9, 2012

Veronique de Rugy and Nick Gillespie need to read Bastiat

This is probably the least helpful graph I've read all week. The scary thing is, de Rugy at least knows that.

First the whole discussion by both Gillespie and de Rugy talk as if these numbers reflect presidential policy rather than primarily reflecting macroeconomic swings.

But it also ignores a basic point from Bastiat: that you have to consider the seen and the unseen: what would job growth have been like without the actions of these presidents (presumably with some baseline extension of their predecessor's policies)? That chart would look very, very different from this - and that's the chart that really matters.


  1. Speaking of Frederic Bastiat, Daniel Kuehn, do you own any of the Liberty Fund books on the English translation of Frederic Bastiat's works? They're still coming out with those.

  2. Also, they had different lengths of time in office. It makes no sense to compare 4 years of Barack Obama with 8 years of Bill Clinton.

    1. Right - that is mentioned in the post, though. It would have been nice for the graph itself to have a "per year" figure or divide it by terms. But they were aware of that point.


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