Media Love ‘Horrendous’ – if False – Card Check Impact

Washington Monthly contributing editor Art Levine has a piece for In These Times (5/31/09) reporting on economist Anne Layne-Farrar’s recent congressional appearance in which she

warned about the horrendous impact of the Employee Free Choice Act. Its potential to increase union membership from between five and 10 percent, she said, ‘would result in an increase in the unemployment of around one and a half to three percentage points.’

Levine tells us how “Fox ‘Fair and Balanced’ News, naturally, in its TV report neglected to mention that her ‘research’ was funded by the corporate-friendly, anti-union ‘Alliance to Save Main Street Jobs,'” and directly takes on Layne-Farrar’s estimate “that 600,000 jobs would be lost in the first year after the EFCA became law”:

Layne-Farrar massages the data using a complex “regression analysis” to connect the dots between card check, higher unionization rates and more unemployment, putting the loss at between 600,000 and 2.6 million new American jobs in the first year.

“That’s bullshit,” says Canadian labor economist Charlotte Yates, now the Dean of Social Sciences at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. “I donâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢t know of any credible economists who say [now] there is a direct correlation between unionization and the rise in unemployment.”

Despite being so flawed as to elicit such strong exclamations from prominent academic economists, “since the report’s publication in March, this statistic has circulated through the media, showing up on MSNBC, CBS News, the Wall Street Journal and, in spades, Fox News.” For more on corporate media coverage of EFCA, read FAIR’s magazine Extra!: “For Media, ‘Card Check’ Promise Is One to Break: Corporate Outlets Suddenly Discover ‘Workers Rights'” (2/09) by Janine Jackson.