Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Dept. of Corrections: Dan Drezner Integrity Challenge

In the past few weeks, among other people, the oldman wrote a post citing a story about a "nasty" speech comment by a Chamber of Commerce speaker. Now as it turns out Dan Drezner notes that the transcript of the event differs from the reported comment from the AP wire.

In a story June 30 about a speech by U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue to the Commonwealth Club of California, The Associated Press erroneously reported that Donohue said people affected by offshoring should "stop whining."

According to a transcript of the speech provided by the chamber, Donohue said of offshoring, "Let's not whine."

Let me stress here that this is entirely the fault of the Associated Press; neither the Kerry campaign nor Marshall can or should be blamed for relying on the AP wire.

However, I do wonder if those in the blogopsphere who linked to this story will post the correction -- because it drastically alters the perception of what Donohue said.

Certainly the statement of "Let's stop whining." is less offensive than "stop whining." It's still offensive in my opinion in the sense that it implies the people complaining are (just) whining rather than expressing a valid complaint or rebuttal. I don't agree with the idea that it drastically alters the perception of what Donohue said, but it does alter it noticeably IMO.

Now what I wonder about is that given that Dan posted some data in his original post responding to the Donohue incident (see chart) that supposedly undermined the case against outsoucing that I found an interesting logical discrepency in, will Dan in return admit that the numbers are at best ambiguous and do not in fact refute any case against outsourcing at all.

As a matter of fact, I posted a response at the time which doesn't seem to have been addressed by Dan at all.

Even if we take the numbers in your chart at face value they don't look so good.

Dividing the 2001 number by the 1991 number for domestic and international, we find that overseas growth in that period was 42% while domestic growth was by 31%. In other words US multinationals were growing employment by 35% (42/31=35.5) more overseas than domestically. That's a fairly large discrepency.

I would also bet that the numbers weren't evenly distributed, and the trend has been accellerating most likely so the discrepency will grow even larger with time.

This is just looking at the numbers you've presented and taking them at face value.

posted by: oldman on 07.04.04 at 03:52 AM [permalink]

Interesting that in the defense of outsourcing, Dan posts a chart which clearly demonstrates that multinational corporations have been growing employment overseas 35% faster than domestic employment. I find that extremely interesting as a supposed defense of offshoring practices. It certainly makes a "drastic difference" in the way the chart is perceived when you compare gains over time instead of just narrow absolute gains right?

More difference than "Let's stop whining." and "Stop whining." Still if Donohue didn't say the latter but the former we need to be all grown up and acknowledge it. I spoke much too caustically regarding Donohue given that his true comment was the former than the latter. The oldman admits that.


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