Microblogging: August 21, 2012
Mark Kleiman: Todd Akin and Niall Ferguson vs. Reality

Niall Ferguson Does Not Understand That the Federal Government Hires a Huge Number of Temporary Workers to Conduct the Decennial Census

Niall Ferguson:

Well, that’s not really a part of the argument I made in the piece. The point I made in the piece was that the stimulus had a very short-term effect, which is very clear if you look, for example, at the Federal employment numbers there’s a huge spike in early 2010 and then it falls back down.

Mark Thoma Invictus says: "Niall, babe, I got one word for you: 'Census'."

I get that tenure is valuable, and that if it means anything it has to include the freedom to be really stupid. And I get that people like me who loved his Rothschild book and liked his WWII book are to blame for the problem.

But am I wrong in wishing to see an open letter tomorrow signed by 500 Harvard faculty members up to and including President Faust saying that the Appril 2010 spike in public employment was not the result of the Recovery Act bUt of the census? And that they are sorry?