More on Elizabeth Warren on Theory and Interpreting Data
With all the talk about the CFPB, Elizabeth Warren has been in the news lately. The blogs too. Most of the discussion has been about whether or not Timothy Geithner is a friend or foe to the Democrats’ preferred option of getting Warren nominated as the first chief of the CFPB. Today, Megan McArdle started on what is a less interesting political topic, but a more interesting one for this blog with a long and detailed post on Elizabeth Warren taking on then-Professor Warren’s use of theory and data in the Two Income Trap and her controversial work on medical bankruptcies. McArdle later doubled-up with a be re-posting Todd Zywicki’s WSJ op-ed pointing out the odd manner in which tax data are presented in Two Income Trap. Put directly, Zywicki provides some evidence that the presentation (made in an attempt to show the increasing burdens of mortgage, car and health obligations) presents the data percentage terms in order to obfuscate the fact that changes in tax obligations play a much larger role in the economic burden facing the middle class than convenient for the story told in the book.