When you hear the passive voice, as in “mistakes were made,” it’s a good idea to get out the ammunition. The Post gave us a great example in a piece that discussed the meeting of G-8 leaders and plans to deal with the euro zone crisis. The piece told readers that:
“Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti took office in November and, while given credit for taking a tougher line on government spending, has yet to win parliamentary approval for broader labor and regulatory policy changes considered central to boosting growth.”
hmmm, these measures are “considered central to boosting growth.” Do we have any idea who has done this considering? Could the Post possibly share this with readers?
The folks I know consider boosts to demand, such as increased stimulus or a commitment to higher wage growth and inflation in northern Europe as being central to boosting growth. They point to research that suggests that the proposed changes in labor regulatory policy will have at best a modest impact on growth and even this will only be felt in the long-term, not over the next 2-3 years.
It would be useful if the Post could assign names to the folks who claim to believe otherwise so that they can be held accountable for their mistake when it becomes more obvious.
Economist Dean Baker is co-founder of Center for Economic Policy and Research and writes regularly on CEPR’s Beat the Press blog, where this post first appeared.