Free Markets, Free People

NYT: Spectacularly Wrong … Yet Again

Will someone please buy these people a subscription to Google or something? In trying to compare TANF and TARP spending, Nancy Folbre makes a rather glaringly error:

Robert Rector and Katharine Bradley of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research organization, estimate that federal welfare spending amounted to $491 billion in fiscal 2008. (They don’t explain what specific programs they included in this estimate, and I’ll try to unpack it in a future post.) Even their extremely high estimate remains far below estimates of the total of $2.5 trillion spent on financial bailouts this year. The libertarian Cato Institute often emphasizes the issue of corporate welfare, but it’s remained remarkably quiet so far on the topic of bailouts.

David Boaz begs to differ:

Excuse me?

Since she linked to one of our papers on corporate welfare, we assume she’s visited our site. How, then, could she get such an impression? Cato scholars have been deploring bailouts since last September. (Actually, since the Chrysler bailout of 1979, but we’ll skip forward to the recent avalanche of Bush-Obama bailouts.) Just recently, for instance, in — ahem — the New York Times, senior fellow William Poole implored, “Stop the Bailouts.” I wonder if our commentaries started with my blog post “Bailout Nation?” last September 8? Or maybe with Thomas Humphrey and Richard Timberlake’s “The Imperial Fed,” deploring the Federal Reserve’s help for Bear Stearns, on April 14 of last year?

Boaz goes onto reproduce a video compilation of Cato scholars denouncing bailouts on “more than 90 radio and television programs.” He also produces an impressive list of papers, articles and media appearances which seriously challenge Folbre’s notion of “remarkably quiet.”

Folbre doubles down here:

You’re right. The Cato Institute website has not been silent. It just didn’t meet my expectations of adequate noise.

Yeah. Too bad her post didn’t meet reality’s expectations for factual.

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18 Responses to NYT: Spectacularly Wrong … Yet Again

  • “It just didn’t meet my expectations of adequate noise.”

    You had better get your ears checked,  Nancy, ‘cuz you’re deaf as a goldfish in a soundproof aquarium!

  • Nancy who?  Arrogant as all get out, that’s for sure.

  • Talk to the media…they are the megaphone.

  • And who the f**k is she to determine what “adequete noise” is?

  • I like “often emphasizes” compared to “didn’t meet my expectations of adequate noise”.

  • “It just didn’t meet my expectations of adequate noise.”
    Smooth move, honey, taking on the Cato Institute.  This will not end well for her or the NYT.

  • “Right” and “Wrong” are merely malleable, reified concepts of the Dominant Paradigm, the patriarchal, mega-technic ratiocenatric monopoly finance capitalist system that currently engulfs the world.  We need to move past these constructs to the deeper underlying “truthiness” of claims.
    Further I can understand her confusion, did the Cato institute employ any bull horns, or papier-mâché puppets?  If not, how then would the NYT be expected to know of the “noise” the Cato Institute was making?

    • You’re right. Next time, Cato should (A) rent a traveling stage show and megaphone truck to circle the NYT building and (B) write its veiws in crayon with pictures so people like What’s-her-name can understand.


      • I suspect she’d need something like “Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood” to explain it to her.

  • Don’t forget the helpful comment by James (and later, Kyle) pointing this out to readers at the site.
    On an unrelated note, any libertarian/free-market supporters interested in forming a rock band should seriously consider the name “Adequate Noise.”

  • “It just didn’t meet my expectations of adequate noise.”

    Just some advice to Ms. Folbre– eating your words and admitting that you were wrong might not do much for your ego, but putting up such a ridiculously pathetic excuse does wonders for your reputation.  Not in a good way, though.

  • I guess her problem with Cato’s “silence” was that they didn’t use a large enough font

  • Useless Idiot!

  • This is why The NY Times’ ad revenue dropped 27% in 1Q of 2009.

    It is because the paper is better for wrapping fish than being used to look for actual facts.

  • They weren’t on the Daily Show.

  • Maybe it didn’t meet her expected noise ratio, because she doesn’t read conservative commentary.