Thursday, May 05, 2005

Integrity

Again, Chuck Gregory is a local fellow who tries to discredit me in our local paper.

Last week Chuck referred to “the figures of the Bureau of Labor Statistics” and gave the internet address: http://www.laborresearch.org/charts.php?id=8. Now, I probably spend more time surfing the Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/) site than the average bear, so I was quick to notice his website isn’t that of the Bureau. Of course, you can imagine my shock and surprise to learn that “laborresearch.org” is actually the Labor Research Association, self-styled as “a New York City-based non-profit research and advocacy organization that provides research and educational services for trade unions.” Labor Research has taken information from the Bureau and re-packaged it for dissemination (and mis-information?) by labor unions. Why did Chuck use labor union data when he could have gone directly to the source and used Bureau of Labor Statistics information?

Chuck selected the highest point of real wages, which I should add occurs during the presidency of Republican Richard Nixon. Chuck was correct: real income dropped drastically over the ensuing years, however, that is a gross over-simplification and deserves a closer look. Through the Ford years (‘74 - ‘77) real income continued to drop as a voracious Democrat Congress gobbled up ever-increasing Gross Domestic Product and we lost $21 of wages. Democrat Jimmy Carter (‘77 - ‘81), in cahoots with a Democrat Congress, caused real wages to fall a shocking $33! The Republican Reagan Revolution (‘81 - ‘89) acted as a tourniquet to the still-Democrat Congress and the real wage hemorrhage slowed to only $10 lost. Under Bush I, the Democrat Congress still managed to bleed us another $10. When Bill Clinton (‘92 - ‘00) took the presidency, the Internet Tech Bubble was ballooning and despite the Democrat Congress, real income began an ebb-and-flow, up-and-down rally of $8 over 6 years. When Bill Clinton got the second Republican Revolution and Newt Gringrich brought the Contract With America to Congress, despite the Internet Tech Bubble collapse, we got a steady increase of $10 over 3 years. Which brings us to the first term of George W. Bush, who worked with the Republican Congress (which Chuck and the labor unions would like us to believe has been the worst ever} to bring real income steadily up each year, topping out at $4 above Bill Clinton’s (or Newt Gingrich’s, depending on one’s level of intellectual honesty) best. I will grant that 2004 shows a $1 drop from 2003, but that’s a far cry from the 20% that Chuck wants you to think Bush cost you. An admittedly simplistic, but fair, analysis shows that between 1973 and 2004, Democrat leadership has cost American workers $68, while Republican leadership recovered $14. Why is it that Chuck completely misrepresented this information?

Chuck Gregory wants us to believe certain things which he deeply believes in. He can’t prove his beliefs with facts and figures, so he disingenuously tries to hoodwink us with bogus documentation. When called on it, he lashes out with ad hominem slurs like neo-con and political hate speech like raising the specter of Nazism. I think that’s wrong. I think it’s really a question of integrity. Would a person of integrity try to pass off a labor union’s analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics data as actually being from the Bureau? I know I wouldn’t, would you? Would a person of integrity sink to name-calling and bashing? Chuck’s proclivity to rely on dubious or fallacious sources should put everything he says into question as should his lack of comity. I don’t blame Chuck for this, he is what he is. What I can’t understand is why Springfield is so silent. Where are you, Springfield? Is this man’s opinion truly representative of you all? Here is a man who takes every chance to compare people who disagree with him to Nazis, while claiming to be tolerant. Here is a man who denigrates people who go to church or work at WalMart as idiots in your newspaper, while staking out the moral high ground. Is there no one else who takes exception to this?

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