It’s too early for DougJ to start drinking, even though he is Irish and on vacation, so I will note that McMegan has thrown up a “correction” of sorts:
Yup, Brad DeLong is right: I probably made a math error eight years ago, and didn’t see it when it was initially pointed out to me by commenter Doug J. How large the error is depends on whether you take nominal or real GDP, compare it to nominal or real spending on the Iraq war, and so forth, but I’d say at a minimum I was off by a factor of at least three, though not “an order of magnitude”, since it seems clear to me that nominal-to-nominal, not real-to-real, is the correct comparison.
I can’t explain the math error, since it was, as I believe I mentioned, eight years ago. I can probably explain why I didn’t see it, which is that I was laid flat with gastritis and working on about 3 hours sleep and 300 calories a day of rice and mashed potatoes. As anyone who has had gastritis can attest, this does leave you a little fuzzy. Or perhaps I was just being stupid.
I struggle daily to live up to Brad’s well-known standards of accuracy, fairness, and integrity; I’m sorry that I clearly failed in this instance.
This is so quintessentially McMegan and representative of the way our elites function that it is actually a thing of beauty. Researchers in the future will want to examine this when looking back on the decline of the empire. Point by point:
1. “I probably made a math error…” – Actually, you quite clearly made a math error.
2. “and didn’t see it when it was initially pointed out to me by commenter Doug J”– Or the other half dozen times in the thread he attempted to explain it and re-explain it.
3. “How large the error is depends on whether you…”– Back to making excuses already.
4. “I can’t explain the math error, since it was, as I believe I mentioned, eight years ago.”– Actually, what drove DougJ to drink was that you couldn’t see the math error as recently as a few hours ago, despite repeatedly having it pointed out to you in excruciating detail.
5. “I can probably explain why I didn’t see it, which is that I was laid flat with gastritis…”– Gastritis broke MAH CALCULATOR!
6. “and working on about 3 hours sleep and 300 calories a day of rice and mashed potatoes.”– Really, you all should feel terrible for picking on me when I feel like this. Jerks! Pity party pity party!
7. “Or perhaps I was just being stupid.”– Perhaps.
8. “I struggle daily to live up to Brad’s well-known standards of accuracy, fairness, and integrity..”– And let’s finish this “correction” with a snide insult directed at the people who had the temerity to point out I was wrong.
And there you have it- McMegan, in all her glory. The only thing missing is the customary “I’m sorry if you were offended by that” that is so popular these days.
Why couldn’t she just write- “Pretty clearly I was wrong about what the cost of the Gulf War was going to be and made some calculation errors based on my inaccurate projections. I don’t know what I was thinking back then, but right now I’m feeling a little under the weather and not thinking clearly. Thanks to those of you who pointed this out and were right.”
That’s what I would have written. Although, in fairness, I have had a lot of practice being wrong.