Yes Virginia, you are pretty much clueless

Fortunately for our sanity and blood pressure a few people have taken turns slapping Virginia Postrel around for her if you can’t see it that proves it’s real essay on the amazing Bush job recovery machine.

Brad DeLong takes a few swings here, and Max joins in here. We would just reiterate the point made by Max in response to this sentence:

It [the Labor Department] is much less adept at counting employees in small businesses, simply because there are too many small enterprises to representatively sample them.

Maybe Postrel lives in a world where public opinion surveys don’t exist, but we’d guess without bothering to look that the number of adults to be surveyed at any given time in the US is far greater than the number of small businesses. In any case, if you think that there is a point at which a population is too large to be sampled, you should not be writing about statistical analysis. Ever.

But please feel free to give us more on those magical keys.


Comments: 3


Previously you said — All this crazy talk about the amazing colored keys — it’s just too much for me.

Now you’re begging for more about the keys — what gives?


Now, if she had said “The Small Business community is too diverse to create a representative sample”, she might be maybe slightly right, except I doubt that is the case as well.

(What I mean by “too diverse” is that maybe each small business is such a unique and special flower that grabbing a random sample of 1000 will not create a sample that accurately represents the entire community. Which is possible, I suppose, except that most survey researchers have all sorts of great tricks of making sure that all parts of a population are surveyed.


Maybe if the government stopped shoveling money into Halliburton they could buy a computer and maybe, you know, tabulate the taxes paid by businesses every quarter which lists the number of employees and the amount of SSI taxes withheld. If only we had an MBA as President then things like this could get done…


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