[File under: Petard, hoist on one’s own]
Earlier this month, AEI “scholar” Mark Perry was spotted using a dubious metric regarding minimum wage. Given the point his ideology was trying (apparently desperately) to prove, Perry proclaimed Seattle’s newly-hiked minimum wage a failure:
As evidence to support his claim, Perry showed the following chart:
I pointed out the fatal flaw in Perry’s work in Fact Versus Fiction on Seattle Minimum Wage.
Specifically, I made the obvious case that looking at the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue MSA (population 3.6MM) was utterly useless when the region that had changed its minimum wage law was Seattle city proper (population 660K), less than one-fifth the size. I was saddened to see that Perry undertook a deliberate, fraudulent misinformation campaign. This is not a case of reasonable people disagreeing; rather, it is a case of one person willfully, purposefully spreading false information.
Perry’s intellectual dishonesty did not go unnoticed.
Naturally, all data tell a story, when viewed over the course of time. But it’s clear Perry couldn’t resist the urge to trumpet any apparent bad news. Unfortunately for Professor Perry, when you live by short-term noisy data, you die by short-term noisy data. To wit:
The very same metric highlighted by the good professor above just produced the biggest one-month gain in the entire history of the series:
But wait, there’s more! Not only was the most recent print the largest single month gain in the history of the series, the past two months have seen 3,700 jobs added in the space and moved this metric to a new all-time high. Here’s Perry’s chart updated with the latest data:
I reached out to Professor Perry to see if he might be able to offer an explanation of some sort:
— Invictus (@TBPInvictus) August 22, 2015
I’ll interrupt myself here to again remind folks that we shouldn’t really be looking at this series in the first place. However, misinformation should not be allowed to spread unchallenged (and, frankly, this was just too delicious to pass up).
I expect Professor Perry’s approach to change not one iota. I expect that he will highlight any and all bad numbers and/or any downward revisions. I expect that he will not be an honest broker of information or analysis. He has already shown a disinclination to await a reasonable amount of data as situations develop. We can look forward to seeing his future misinformation and intellectual dishonesty bounce its way around the conservative blogosphere, eventually finding its way on to Fox News. (As Barry often writes, this is a feature, not a bug.) Such is the life of a shill working for what was once a respectable think tank, but is now part of a greater disinformation machine. Perhaps it’s technically best to contextualize AEI as part of a lobbying organization.
As for me, I’ll continue to watch as events unfold and stand by what I’ve been saying all along: “The simple fact of the matter is that the jury is still out – and will be for a while – on Seattle’s minimum wage experiment. We won’t know for a long time to come.”
Feel free to continue making obviously false, easily debunked statements, professor. It’s really quite entertaining.
Regardless, I will be there to document and debunk it all.