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The Faulty Math Of Clintonomics

Readers Report


I read with dismay Alan S. Blinder's article entitled "Clintonomics: Figure the merits along with the math" (Economic Viewpoint, Sept. 21). In this article, Blinder states that Clinton's proposed government mandates on maternity leave, health insurance, and the environment would have no net impact on jobs, since for every job lost there would be a new job created. For example, he contends that if government mandated "a highly polluting industry to clean up its act, that industry might have to contract." However, he says that the "labor and capital would migrate to other, less polluting jobs aren't lost in the long run. They just move." Blinder's new math would have us believe that "1 - 1 = 0," i.e., no net job loss.

Unfortunately, in a global economy, mandates, if not well-conceived or overdone by well meaning officialdom, can drive jobs, capital, and industries overseas, where mandates are less severe and U.S. jobs would be certainly lost. This old fashioned math would yield "0 - 1 = -1," which, I believe, would not be in the long-term best interest of the U.S. economy. I would rather stick to old-fashioned math.

Douglas M. McGraime, CFO

Combe Inc.

White Plains, N.Y.

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