from the lies,-damned-lies-and-statistics dept
Given that, it's a bit surprising that even the WSJ is now calling out the US Trade Rep (USTR) for its blatantly misleading propaganda about the TPP. As Glyn recently wrote about, the Peterson Institute for International Economics released a summary showing tiny economic gains from the TPP -- to the point that it makes you wonder what the fuss is. Some folks have already called into question the Peterson Institute's methodology, suggesting the results may be even worse, but even if we accept the organization's findings, the benefits to the TPP are miniscule: increasing GDP 0.5% by 2030.
But, no matter. The USTR decided to hype up this report... by tweeting out a chart so misleading that even the WSJ called it out as bogus propaganda.
Notice anything wrong here? Look at those two values on the right side of the column. With the Trans-Pacific Partnership, U.S. real national income will be $25,885 billion in 2030. Without, it will only be $25,754 billion. That’s a difference of $131 billion. But the chart presents that gap as about the same, in size, as the gap between $18,154 billion and $25,754 billion. That’s a difference of $7.6 trillion. Yep, that’s trillion with a “t.”The WSJ then tried to help out with its own, more accurate chart:
Amusingly, when the WSJ reached out to the USTR, the USTR pretended that its original chart was an "error" and promised an "updated" chart:
“We noticed the error and are tweeting out updated, corrected graphics now,” said Andrew Bates, press secretary for the Office of the USTR.So... what is the "updated, corrected graphics"? Here: