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Posted at 2:36 PM ET, 12/15/2010

Lies, damn lies, and statistics

By Ezra Klein

Michael Mandel really doesn't like the oft-repeated factoid that consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of American economic activity. This post makes his case with graphs.

By Ezra Klein  | December 15, 2010; 2:36 PM ET
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Setting up a straw man and then knocking it down:

"Higher consumer spending need not be accompanied by higher domestic production, or by increased domestic jobs, since the higher demand can be filled by imports."

Well who said it did? He's right about not enough credit being given to government spending. Usually, when I have seen those figures cited references are made to the consumer and service economy, which is more accurate.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 15, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be surprised if the additional spending we will buy with this next stimulus packages is disproportionately used to procure foreign produced goods (relative to the average annual domestic/foreign ratio). A little extra in my paycheck isn't going to convince me to buy another house or car, but a big screen 3D TV with some Blue-ray accessories certainly isn't out of the question.

Posted by: eggnogfool | December 15, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

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