Ideology and the Interpretation of Reality
By Pierre Lemieux
Reality is not easy to interpret and understand, even with good theories. It becomes even more difficult when ideology–that is, moral values or political partisanship–interferes. Here I think is an example.
I tweeted a link to a Wall Street Journal story of October 5 titled “U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls to Lowest Level Since 1969,” with the subtitle “Nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 134,000 in September, the smallest gain in a year.” My only comment was a straight quote from the story:
“Employers added 134,000 jobs to payrolls, a record 96th straight month of gains. Wages rose 2.8% from a year earlier, a solid if still unspectacular rise.”
A regular critic of mine replied:
The tariffs are working their magic!
As the figure above shows, the unemployment rates has been falling quite regularly since October 2009. The new tariffs, mainly imposed in 2018, have not had an obvious impact on the trend.
Or perhaps my opponent was teasing and I am the one who needs to say “mea culpa.”