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March 08, 2010


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Is Tufte really so inept? I've a couple of his books and would have expected better from him....
1) Hiring/firing someone is a forward looking decision, you are saying I can/cannot risk having your wages as an expense in the days ahead.
2) In November it was certain the USA was going to feel the effects of Obama's ideology, not Janaury - in fact the writing was on the wall well before then.
3) It would seem to be consistent and accurate to color the pre-November bars according to who was leading in a aggregate of public polling - which is a forward looking estimate of who will win. This way from May-June 2008 the bars are very likely blue, so you will infact observe a consistent story over the last half of 2008, and 2009/10.

As mentioned this graphic makes me suspect Tufte has not been involved. It would be useful to confirm his involvement since your claim, if false, does him an unwarranted disservice.

Bright side is: The employment numbers can't go down forever... even the USSR was able to achieve full employment - for a while ;)

Even the colors used in the graph are meant to bias the viewer.

But to address Mark's point, the graph has been out, Tufte was just hired. As far as I can tell, he had nothing to do with the graph. (And as far as I remember, he's a big non-fan of bar graphs because they use a lot of ink for what they show.)

Yes, to reiterate Wayne's point, there's no evidence that Tufte had any involvement with the bar chart above. My only point was, regardless of your opinions of the stimulus, that chart did accurately and clearly represent the data it purported to represent.

So at least we are now really clear, the grahpic is...

^not^ clear, ^not^ meaningful, and ^not^ based on facts.

And not likely to have had Tufte's input.
Hmmm, is there anything noteworthy left?

It's sad that every detail of every remark must become a focus for partisan hostility. I'm happy to see that we may be entering a period of job creation.

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