Posts tagged ‘QED’

Verbal Gymnastics and the Enrollment Report

I did not want this to get lost -- in an Enrollment report that used the word "enroll" or some variant 229 times, the one thing the report was missing was the actual number of people who had enrolled.  On the Medicaid side, the report said how many had been found eligible but not how many had enrolled.  On the private side, the best we get is this, which is just a classic of the political art:

106,185 (10 percent) of the 1,081,592 total Marketplace plan eligible persons have already selected a plan by clicking a button on the website page.

The obvious language would have been "106,185 enrolled in a plan" or "bought a plan."  But it does not say this, despite the fact that the Obama Administration certainly has the relevant number.  What this means is that 106,185 people ... OK, a quick aside.  It is not actually 106,185 people being successful on the web.  This is the number of people who would be covered in plans "clicked on" by visitors.  The total number of clicks is well under this -- likely something like 60,000, if the ration of 1.78 persons per application holds from the other numbers in the report.  So this is the number of people covered in something like 60,000 plans that visitors did the equivalent of putting in the online shopping cart but may not yet have paid for.

Well, maybe the number paid is really close to 106,185.  Hah!  I can disprove that quite simply:  We were not told the number.  QED it sucks.

The End of Full-Time Work in the US Retail Service Sector

Frequent readers will know that I have been predicting for over a year that the economic story of 2013 would be the end of full time work in the retail service sector due to the PPACA, or Obamacare (example).   QED, from the most recent economic report:

In June, the household survey reported that part-time jobs soared by 360,000 to 28,059,000 – an all time record high. Full time jobs? Down 240,000.  And looking back at the entire year, so far in 2013, just 130K Full-Time Jobs have been added, offset by a whopping 557K Part-Time jobs.

It is unclear how the 1-year delay in the employer mandate implementation will affect this.  Probably not a lot -- based on the way Obamacare was being implemented, companies needed to be switching workers to part-time now (really, early this year) so that they would qualify as part-time for next year  (a company needed 6-12 months of records from this year to prove the employee was part-time).  In other words, most companies have already switched, and having done so, will not likely switch back just for one year.

Besides, as I have written before, it is actually cheaper and easier for many retail establishments to stitch together full coverage of their business hours from part-time workers.   Making jobs full-time is a hassle, and was done by most of us mainly for competition reasons, ie to be able to attract the best employees.  Other laws like California's absurd lunch-break mandate (which has caused me to make working through lunch a firing offense at our company) just add to the cost of offering full-time work.   If everyone is only offering part-time, and the labor market is weak with plenty of workers available, there is no reason to go back to offering full time employment.

Update on My Comment Policy: It's Not This

In the Climategate 2.0 emails, Michael Mann confirms what we already knew - there is absolutely no tolerance for dissent, even the scientifically thoughtful sort, among climate alarmists.  Writing about their mother-site, RealClimate, Mann says

 I suspect you've both seen the latest attack against [Keith Briffa's] Yamal work by McIntyre.    Gavin and I (having consulted also w/ Malcolm) are wondering what to make of this, and what sort of response---if any---is necessary and appropriate. So far, we've simply deleted  all of the attempts by McIntyre and his minions to draw attention to this at RealClimate.

Note that the knee-jerk, default action is to purge, hide, and delete criticism, even before it is understood.  They make absolutely no attempt to understand the argument, reading it just enough to know that it is critical and therefore must be deleted.  The second action is to find someone to refute it, again even before the critique is understood.  It is critical of us so it must be wrong.  QED.

Here is one of the original McIntyre posts where he outlines the problem he found in Briff's work.  He argues that the findings in Briffa are not very robust, as substitution of a larger sample of trees (this is a tree-ring temperature reconstruction study, like the hockey stick) from the same area for Briffa's apparently small, hand-picked sample have an astoundingly large effect on the study's findings (the red study line below, McIntyre's reconstruction in black).

Perhaps McIntyre was missing something (though over the 2 years since no one involved has suggested what that might be).  But the tone of the article is certainly scientific and thoughtful.   It has no resemblance to the unscientific polemic that alarmists often use as an excuse to excise skeptical comments from their web sites.

Worst Fears Realized

Frequent readers will know that unlike most other libertarian blogs, I have not plastered the site with hopeful articles and endorsements for Ron Paul.  I have always been 99% supportive of his work in Congress and was happy to have him there.  But I resisted even registering in the Arizona primary to vote for him.  Arizona requires that to vote in a primary, I have to register as belonging to that party, and I am just not going to do that.

Part of my reluctance to jump on the bandwagon has been my general disaffection with politics and some ambivalence as to whether my elected overlord is from Coke or Pepsi.  The rest, I think, was a subliminal fear of supporting any Libertarian candidate because they always seem to turn out to be wing-nuts.  QED.

Update:  The excuse that he didn't know what was in a series of ghost-written newsletters is just ridiculous.  I will accept that excuse for one issue, a mistake in selecting partners (I am sure there are bloggers out there who regret guest-blogger selections) but a long series of newsletters implies tacit approval or at least acceptance.