Saturday, January 2, 2010

Big Government's Liberty Chick Believes Private Sector On Endangered Species List, Cites 2008 Graph as Proof Obama Administration Is Bad

Updated January 3rd, 2010.

Scanning one of the conservative Meccas, such as Andrew Breitbart's Big Government, I had noticed an article that I thought sounded interesting. No, it was not Rush Limbaugh's health update, it was an article by author Liberty Chick (a.k.a. Mandy), titled "Hijacking the Private Sector, the SEIU and Blago Way". Intrigued, I clicked into her analysis of the economy and read away.

Liberty Chick, a self described blogger and activist, explains that the bail outs and subsequent stimulus were all about "Jobs. Jobs. Jobs," and points to a couple graphs that illustrates that while jobs are being created, they are not to be found in the private sector. The graphs that she uses as proof are between 2000 and 2008, during Bush's presidency, and illustrate the employment trend in both private and public sectors. While the graphs expressing employment trends both point up over the 8 year period, the graph illustrating union worker employment shows a different picture. It shows that unions have lost in the private sector between 2000 and 2006, but showing a small increase between 2006 and 2008. It also shows that union employment in the public sector had remained rather static, with only slight increases between 2006 and 2008 (again, during the previous administration).

While Liberty Chick blames the current administration for further bloating the economy, she points backwards for the source, and she points way back to when Democrats regained control of Congress during the mid term elections. According to her, the private sector "plummeted" in 2007, and that Democrats were playing catch up rewarding unions with public sector jobs. It is interesting because the graphs illustrate that while there were rises in both private and public sector jobs in the period prior to the Democratic resurgence, it also shows an equal rise in public and private sector union employment after the supposed Democratic kick back to unions. To single the public sector out while ignoring the private sector is selective journalism, and while the same can be said for what I am writing, I am simply offering a counterpoint, a companion piece, to Liberty Chick's slant on the economy.

Liberty Chick must not have learned about the ethical use of graphs in economics class. Looking at the private sector vs. public sector graph, one will notice an inconsistency. While the graph illustrating the private sector moves up incrementally by 2 million, the graph illustrating the public sector moves up in increments of 500,000, or 25% the measurements of the graph on the left. This trick makes the public sector appear to have a tremendous gain that puts the slowing rise, or "plummeting", of private sector employment to shame. In actuality, Liberty Chick is playing games with numbers and images to make a point. That is called propaganda.  Confused?  Take a look below:


After receiving a response from Liberty Chick, I had decided to add a little graph myself, although I did not create this one.  Instead, I decided to tap the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the same place Liberty Chick got her information from.  The following graph depicts the union membership rate for both private and public sectors from 1983 to 2007.  The following graph was made by the Bureau and depicts the long term trend of private-sector union membership rates dropping and public-sector rates remaining relatively the same.  Although Liberty Chick's graphs may show a steep incline or a "plummet," to fully understand, it is better to look at the complete picture.  Union membership rates are nowhere near where they were and any short term change is by far no indication of dramatic increases or decreases.  If you look really hard, you may be able to see that sharp rise in private sector union membership!


  1. Talk about propaganda...
    OK, let me try to educate you a little bit here. The article I wrote is about Governing States by Executive Order, and about unionizing people who were in the private sector and making them state employees without their knowledge. Maybe you weren't aware, but Obama was never a governor. The article is exactly the opposite of what you describe - it is about the fact that public sector bloating began long before the current administration. In fact, I'd think that someone like yourself would point to it as defense of the Obama administration! In it, I blame public apathy.

    You should read articles in their entirety before conducting an "analysis". And as for the graphs, you are interpreting them improperly. The first two compare two separate trends, the first one showing the private sector growing then plummeting; the second showing the public sector's steady growth, with some upward spikes (during Republican power, which I pointed out!). And lastly, the third chart demonstrates that despite jobs being lost from the private sector, both private and public sector are seeing steady increases in UNION growth that correlate with large numbers of private employees becoming state employees by executive orders issued in individual states by Governors. You need the EO timeline to illustrate that, which you do not even mention.

    You have obviously not read the article, nor have you read the explanations of the graphs or the titles indicated on those graphs. Yet you took my original graphs and falsely represented them here. Disagree with my opinions if you like, all you like, but you should do so honestly.

  2. Plummeting? I hardly see the plummet. A slight dip, maybe. I'll reread your article but my intention was not to offer an analysis on the entire piece. My main focus was on the graphs that I believe you misrepresented to try and prove your point. I did not interpret them improperly. I noticed two separate graphs and your attempt to correlate the information. I simply state that you correlated them poorly.

    I am not some sort of Obamaphile and I can care less that you point to the previous administration for the time frame of when things started to get screwed up. I like to direct attention to events during the previous administration only as a method to point out hypocrisy but that was not the purpose of my article. Although you looked backwards, you seemed to direct any wrongdoing to the Democrats. I am going to reread your article now...

  3. Finished rereading. While I see your focus on state governments issuing executive orders, I do not see the dramatic shift from private sector to public sector, which is why I emphasized your introductory graphs. You state jobs are plummeting and discuss various orders from various states, but the numbers don't add up in your favor, which is probably why you didn't discuss figures...

    I am not a fan of unions, and I disagree with some of the laws enacted in certain states, such as the incident described in Washington, which reminds me of what is occurring in a local HOA here in Florida (Sand Lake Hills), but apart from disliking these particular situations, I do not see them as a tell tale sign for the hypothetical future you describe...

    I don't even know why I am even bothering responding...

    You're article appeared on Big Government, which in its short time in existence, has become notorious for reporting half truths and terribly twisted stories more befitting for a tabloid then a real news organization. I guess if you get your news from a place that also gave us the numerous "fistgate" breaking headlines, then your article would be right up their alley.


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