The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

4 June 2004

Working calculations

Politicians do love to count jobs, and it's always amusing to see their counts come back and bite them.

Senate candidate Kirk Humphreys has been boasting that 54,000 jobs were created in Oklahoma City during his stint as mayor; his press secretary has since conceded that this figure is inaccurate.

The correct number, says Rick Buchanan, is 38,000.

The correct number, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is 16,332; if you add in the entire metropolitan area, you can get to 38,000, but it's unclear to me how Humphreys, as mayor of Oklahoma City, contributed a great deal to job growth in Shawnee or Norman.

Posted at 7:31 AM to Political Science Fiction


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That's such a bad move. What's Oklahoma City's population? 500,000? If it is, 16,000 new jobs is pretty good growth.

Now he's the guy who lied about job growth instead of the guy who presided over 3% of the population getting back to work.

Posted by: Tom at 8:01 AM on 4 June 2004

He's probably counting all those people that commute into the city.

Posted by: Ravenwood at 6:44 PM on 4 June 2004

What if you count the illegal immigrants?

Politicians making up numbers. Nothing new to see here. Sure, politicians can set overall trends, but as long as wehave a fairly open system, market forces will be likely to create and destroy jobs than political tinkering.

Its a bit like claiming you can make the tide come in.

Posted by: bruce at 7:27 PM on 4 June 2004

Shakespeare anticipated all this. In Act III of Henry IV, Part I:

Glendower: "I can call spirits from the vasty deep."

Hotspur: "Why so can I, or so can any man; but will they come when you do call them?"

Remember this the next time John Kerry tells you how many jobs he plans to create — or, for that matter, the next time George W. Bush points to the ones he putatively created.

Posted by: CGHill at 9:56 AM on 5 June 2004