Elizabeth Warren’s Powwow Chow controversy and her questionable claim to being “Native American” might seem like small beer to some voters. But is it emblematic of bigger deceptions? Francis Menton of the Manhattan Contrarian zeros in on accusations of academic fraud in Warren’s research.
Serious Accusations of Academic Misconduct
What you might be less aware of are the serious accusations of academic fraud in the research that she produced during the same academic ascent. The current issue of Reason Magazine has a lengthy piece by Peter Suderman, title “Elizabeth Warren’s Plans Don’t Add Up,” summarizing among other things the status of the accusations of academic misconduct. Warren’s breakout book came out in 1989, titled “As We Forgive Our Debtors: Bankruptcy and Consumer Credit in America.”
According to Peter Suderman – Academic Misconduct
As far as I can find, up to today, nobody has been able to obtain the data to check Warren’s work in this book. In my view, obfuscation of data is the number one hallmark of academic misconduct. See also the case of Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann.
Medical Debt Bankrupts Millions?
And that book was just the beginning. After that book, Warren made her big thing the claim that millions of Americans were being driven into bankruptcy by “medical debt.”
The criticism of that claim has been at least as severe as the criticism of her 1989 book. I won’t bore you with further long quotes, but here are some links to serious criticisms:
- Megan McArdle in the Atlantic, June 4, 2009, “Elizabeth Warren and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad, Utterly Misleading Bankruptcy Study”;
- Megan McArdle in the Atlantic, June 5, 2009, “Why Elizabeth Warren’s New Bankruptcy Study is So Bad”;
- Todd Zywicki in the Wall Street Journal, August 14, 2007, “The Two-Income Tax Trap.”
From McArdle, 4 June 2009 – An Utterly Misleading Bankruptcy Study
Elizabeth Warren has another study out showing that medical expenses contribute to more than half of all bankruptcies–indeed, this time, it’s 70%, up from the 50% she found in 2001. . . . The fact that it seems to disagree with every other study I’ve ever read that is not authored by Elizabeth Warren, and also, the self-reports of the people in her study (only about a third of whom attribute their bankruptcy to a health problem) could just be a fluke. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s wrong. Yet upon closer examination, it turns out that it is not just wrong, but actively, aggressively wrong. Warren and her co-authors have obscured important and obvious facts that call the integrity of the work into serious question.
Warren’s Plan: We’re the Government and We’re Here to Help
In the aggregate she (Elizabeth) is proposing a total transformation of the U.S. economy, from one fundamentally run by the people and their privately owned organizations, to one fundamentally controlled and directed by the government. She doesn’t claim the mantle of “socialism” the way Bernie does, but it’s hard to see how there would be much left of the private economy if all — or even half — of Warren’s “plans” got implemented. Does she not perceive any down side here?
Warren Aggressively Misusing Data
Note that Ms. Warren was not just innocently misinterpreting some data in these pieces. She was aggressively misusing data to argue that millions of Americans were being forced into “medical bankruptcies,” and therefore the only solution was government takeover of the whole healthcare system.
Will Heaven Help America?
And yes. Many pundits are anointing Elizabeth Warren as the likely contender for the Democratic presidential nominee in 2020.
Heaven help us, pleads the Manhattan Contrarian.
Read more here.
Originally posted on October 4, 2019.