Saturday, May 7, 2011

Some Assertions Never Die

No matter how much evidence there is against them. There's the really old one advocating means testing for Social Security which was shown to be more expensive than just paying the rich old folks their money--unless you started defining "rich" old folks as people making $35K a year. Now there's the one about "structural" unemployment--that the reason people can't find jobs is that they don't have the skills for the "new" knowledge-based economy. All those middle-aged people can't find jobs not because there are not jobs, not because they face age discrimination, no, of course not. It's because they don't have the skills for the jobs that are available. The article was reprinted in The Sacramento Bee from the Los Angeles Times.

I thought this assertion had been thoroughly trashed here and if you're too lazy (as I was) to read the entire paper, summarized here. But in fact, the whole argument is trashed in the third to last paragraph of the article, proving that reporters don't actually think about what they're writing: "[r]etail employment led the way in April, adding 57,000 jobs. Health care and leisure businesses (read: hotels and restaurants) also beefed up payrolls." Yeah, knowledge-based economy, for sure.

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