July 21, 2010

WaPo's Ezra Klein: Putz or Schmuck?

Ezra Klein, who somehow extorts money out of the Washington Post, and whose blog's subhead is "Economic and Domestic Policy" actually ran this graph...
... with the headline: Why voters are angry in one graph

Really Ezra? Is that the source of "voter anger"? Or is it part of the Washington Post hiring policy to jam a knitting needle into the cerebrum of its bloggers to make sure their stupidity cannot be missed?

Ask not why this bozo is pulling down a paycheck. Ask rather how he can walk to work without a toddler leash.

Posted by Vanderleun at July 21, 2010 2:26 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Putz. He's not big enough to be a schmuck.

Posted by: ahem at July 21, 2010 5:57 AM


If he blamed Bush for the trends since Obama took office in 2009, then he'd be a schmuck.

Posted by: Fausta at July 21, 2010 7:22 AM

This is so funny. I cannot stop laughing.

Maybe we could help the Journolists and save them time so they can work full time on their dastardly plots by making up graphs for them. Now if I can find the butcher paper and crayons.

Posted by: clarice Feldman at July 21, 2010 8:37 AM

Wait -- what's his point? Is he claiming that a percentage point of profits is equal to a percentage point on employment? If so, then why did unemployment fall so little while profits fell over 20% Q3 2008 to Q4 2008?

Is he claiming that one quarter of profit growth should eliminate eight quarters of shrinking profits?

Or is he simply attempting to link to unrelated facts while waving a bloody shirt?

Posted by: Rob Crawford at July 21, 2010 8:37 AM

The New Ledger on why people are angry:

There’s an overwhelming sense that the rules of the game have changed, and it’s no longer possible to achieve a robust personal success (your own house in a nice neighborhood, a nice start in life for your kids, good health) without having good connections and sucking up to powerful people. It does come back to the old self-reliant streak in the American character. When you feel like the only path to success that you consider worthy is being closed off, it can make you mad as hell.

Posted by: Donald Sensing at July 21, 2010 8:58 AM

Um, claiming corporate profits are up when they are based on being propped up by TARP money really is a lie of amazing chutzpa.


Posted by: Russell at July 21, 2010 9:25 AM

He can't claim anything because that would require explaining himself, and thereby expose his ignorance.

It's not a difficult chart to understand. As the recession hit, fewer dollars were flowing to the companies. They responded by shedding jobs, meaning they pay less to workers (as a whole).

As the money flow stabilized, the companies became profitable. This is what you want the markets to do, readjust so they can continue to be profitable and keep their workers on the job.

Posted by: Bill Peschel at July 21, 2010 10:12 AM

What the chart show's me is that corporations are trying very hard to take future profits this year to avoid next, and future year's higher tax rates and increased regulatory environment.

Posted by: Rob Smith at July 21, 2010 10:24 AM

It's a floor wax! It's dessert topping! No, wait, it's both!

He's a putz and a schmuck, a that's just for starters.

Posted by: David at July 21, 2010 5:33 PM

Bill Peschel hit the explanation dead-center, but let's style it as a Q&A for the delightfully clueless Ezra Klein:

Ezra, you putz, When times are tough and companies are losing money, what do you say they try to do?

If you said "Cut their costs," you're right. But we'd also give credit for "Suck up to Democratic party leaders."

Okay, for your second question, Ezra: What's one of the biggest areas where costs can be cut?

If you said "Lay off employees and don't hire replacements," you're be right. The response, "Raise salaries and taxes" would be correct only if we were asking about *government* enterprises.

So, Ezra, this pretty much explains your graph. As anyone with even a smattering of business experience could have told you if you'd had the humility to ask. But what am I thinking?--you're a *journalist*, which means you can just go around lying and making shit up and you'll get paid for it.

Kinda' like what you claim bloggers do.

Except we don't get paid for it.

Posted by: sf at July 21, 2010 6:02 PM

Rob, you aren't supposed to make sense of the graph, since it's only there to produce an emotion or something. Personally, I don't get moved by charts, graphs, statistics, since anyone can make them. It serves only as an alternative to actually thinking, and its existence is in place of reality.

Posted by: Jewel at July 21, 2010 9:11 PM

he and his comrades hate profits and see them as evil; they'd rather companies made no profits and we had full employment.

as if that worked in the ussr and red china and as if that's working in north korea,


Posted by: reliapundit at July 22, 2010 9:11 AM
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