Defending PRI Study on Prop. 23

John Seiler:

The Pacific Research Institute,’s parent institute, earlier this month released a study showing that Prop. 23 would create 1.3 million jobs by 2020. It would do so by suspending, until unemployment dropped to 5.5% for a year, the anti-jobs AB 32.

The study is being questioned. The Sacramento Bee reported:

But [Ben] Zycher’s study makes a faulty causal link between rising energy prices and increased unemployment, said Jasmin Ansar, climate economist for the Union of Concerned Scientists, a strong supporter of AB 32.

Just because energy prices and the jobless rate are rising doesn’t mean that one is causing the other, she said.

“It’s like saying sales of ice cream go up at the same time as bikinis, and therefore one causes the other,” Ansar said.

That’s the wrong analogy. A correct one would be that ice cream prices rise at the same time as milk prices, therefore one causes the other.

Ansar said a more accurate economic study would look at the actual jobs being created or destroyed as a result of AB 32.

But we can’t do that yet, can we? AB 32 doesn’t start nuking jobs  until about 9 p.m. on November 2, when the election returns come in and show Prop. 23 failing — as will happen, alas — and the U-Haul trucks pull up in front of thousands of businesses across the state.

Oct. 24, 2010

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