Appearing on Saturday morning’s edition of Up with Chris Hayes , Joseph Stiglitz took on jobs “truthers.”
The Columbia University professor and Nobel Laureate in Economics explained the absurdity of former GE CEO Jack Welch’s assertion that the Obama administration cooked the books on yesterday’s jobs numbers in order to gain in the upcoming presidential election.
Let me give you a story that illustrates why it’s so implausible. Back when President Clinton was running for his second term, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of Economic Affairs that comes up with the GDP number were changing the way we measure GDP growth, okay? And they were going to something that is a technical term called chained-weighted GDP. And the result of going to chain-weighted GDP was that the GDP number would be lower than the old methodology.
The President was furious because everyone thought they were coming up with a number that was lower. He said, ‘Can’t you stop this? Can’t you wait until after the election?’ We said, ‘No, they’re an independent agency. We can’t touch them.’
…but the point is no president –except maybe Nixon– would try to change what the Bureau of Labor Statistics does or what the BEA does. These are really independent statistical agencies. The idea that they would do that is …literally absurd.
Watch the full segment below, courtesy of MSNBC: