PA-17: Laureen Cummings: Job Report Truther

Laureen Cummings tells the Tea Party she doesn’t trust “anything” she reads in the traditional media:

“I do not believe that number. I do not trust anything I see in the media today,” Cummings told an audience of Lehigh Valley Tea Party members Friday night at the Chrin Community Center in Palmer Township.

Also, too:

“I believe Dick Morris, but I should go look those numbers up,” Cummings said.

(Thanks: Tom Coombe)


  1. Obviously a nihilistic approach doesn’t get anyone anywhere. I’m sure measuring unemployment is far from an exact science, but we have to go with what we have.

    That said, the recent hullabaloo about the rate highlights some standard problems in our political discourse:

    1. Overemphasis on single statistical indicators without context. The unemployment rate is important, but without context or comparison, it loses quite a bit of value. I’m not sure I believe in the “moral effect” of going below 8 percent–but what’s also important is labor force participation. Is there a significant drop in people looking for work or going on disability? Total labor force participation is important as a counterweight.

    2. Policy “drivers” in economic policy. Back in July and August, when the evil reign of Ben Bernanke and the Sith Lords had a stranglehold on the economy, the US added 86k more jobs than thought, and seems to have added quite a few in September, mostly before recent Fed announcements. I don’t think enough time has elapsed for that policy to have had significant effect. So is this a case of the administration’s careful hand on economic policy finally paying dividends? Or does fiscal policy/aggregate demand have less impact on our unemployment rate than thought?

  2. In the Unemployment Report:

    142,000 additional people claimed in September to now be self-employed. Did all those people who were out of work suddenly get the urge to go into business for themselves, or is something else going on?

    368,000 people aged 20 to 24 years old said they suddenly found work in September. This group had lost jobs in August and the figure was so out of the ordinary that John M. Galvin, acting commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, saw fit to note it in his comments Friday.

    But the Labor Department couldn’t, or didn’t, explain what was going on with either statistic.

    I’d like to know what’s going on – if it’s truly good news, let’s get it out there because as we all know psychology matters. If it’s not good news once analyzed, let’s know that too so we can adjust.

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