[Mr. Stephens] points to an online post he put out admitting, with a minimum of grace, that using nominal incomes was wrong.
Sorry, but that’s not what I — or, if I may speak for my employer, The New York Times — calls a correction.
What, after all, is the purpose of a correction? If you’ve misinformed your readers, the first order of business is to stop misinforming them; the second, so far as possible, to let those who already got the misinformation know that they were misinformed. So you fix the error in the online version of the article, including an acknowledgement of the error; and you put another acknowledgement of the error in a prominent place, so that those who read it the first time are alerted. In the case of Times columnists, this means an embarrassing but necessary statement at the end of your next column.
I think Krugman is right twice here. However, although it seems like only yesterday, it was more than ten years ago that I waited in vain for a correction or clarification from Paul Krugman after this particular Bush-basher which hit Bush yet again for weak job growth (go ahead, savor the irony):
To put it more bluntly: it would be quite a trick to run the biggest budget deficit in the history of the planet, and still end a presidential term with fewer jobs than when you started. And despite yesterday's good news, that's a trick President Bush still seems likely to pull off.
As I said at the time, that statement is only literally correct; the Bush deficits as a percentage of GDP were exceeded by many Japanese and some Reagan deficits. So should a top-notch, front-line economist be tossing around nominal deficits like that, or should he be scaling them relative to GDP?
Tough call! No it's not. Ten years later we still don't see a correction. But we exhaled a long time ago.
SINCE YOU ASK: Per this table, total non-farm employment in January 2001 was 132,469,000; four years later (Jan 2005) that had surged to, well, 132,476,000, eclipsing the inital hurdle by a full 7,000 jobs. Another failed prediction from Krugman.