Thursday, March 19, 2015

Pocan walks into it

Politicians love to cherry pick statistics. Sometimes this leads to inadvertent little treasures. Recently, Rep. Mark Pocan went on public radio to criticize the passage of a right-to-work laws in Wisconsin. He  took a shot at Governor Walker saying that, in a recent one year period, Wisconsin was "dead last" in the Midwest in job creation. The Journal Sentinel's Politifact writer gave it a "mostly true" rating. For a variety of reasons, I believe that's too high and, in any event, I don't think the comparison is very meaningful. What the numbers really show is North Dakota and Michigan doing better than a tightly bunched group of seven states.

But there was something else interesting about it.

The "top four" states by Pocan's measure were right to work states.

Were Pocan testifying at a trial, the opposing lawyers would be telling the story of the ensuing cross-examination for the rest of their lives. It would be something like Ndamukong Suh bearing down on Jay Cutler from the blind sight. Whatever happened next would not be pretty.

Of course, this doesn't "prove" that right to work contributes to job growth and, yes, I know that three of the bottom six were also right to work states. (Remember, Wisconsin was not a right-to-work state for the period in question.) But Pocan winds up being hoisted on his own ill-chosen petard.

Cross posted at Purple Wisconsin

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