Math for journalists (cont.)

By Christopher B. Daly

When the latest jobs figures came out on Friday, one of the first dissenting voices was that of Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric. In a Twitter message, he expressed overt skepticism about the integrity of the numbers generated by the non-partisan Bureau of Labor Statistics. Welch suggested that the falling unemployment rate did not square with an overall economy that he considers sluggish.

Many journalists quoted him at face value. Few noted that Welch is a Republican and a Republican donor.

Even fewer noted that much of Welch’s personal fortune takes the form of GE stock. Which raises the question: What has happened to the value of GE stock since Obama took office?

Turns out, the Obama years have been very good years for GE (and thus for Welch). When Obama took office in January 2009, GE stock was in the toilet, trading at about $12 a share. At the close of trading on Friday, GE stock was valued at about $23 a share. In other words, the value of the stock has nearly doubled under this president.

Who says the economy is not improving?

If anybody would know, it should be Jack Welch.


1 Comment

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One response to “Math for journalists (cont.)

  1. Ned

    Not to mention that the BLS does not work that way. The career bureaucrats in that shop probably could not cook the numbers even if they wanted to. Welch’s comments were beyond disingenuous.


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