Misrepresenting NAFTA and Mexican Growth

Is the Washington Post trying to outdo the National Review for sheer stupidity on economics:

the impact of NAFTA seems to have been both larger and more positive in Mexico than in the United States. Mexico’s gross domestic product, now more than $875 billion, has more than quadrupled since 1987.

WaPo admits average wages have not grown but income inequality has. But real GDP growth would have to be 7.2% per year for real GDP to have quadrupled over a 20 year period. Dean Baker, however, points out:

According to the IMF, the correct figure is 84.0 percent. Any serious newspaper would have promptly and prominently corrected such an egregious error as soon as it was brought to its attention.

Hmm – a 3.1% per year growth rate does not sound that outstanding. Could it be that the WaPo has confused nominal and real growth – again?! After all, Dean has pointed this out many times. OK, I know Lawrence Kudlow repeatedly tells us how fast nominal wages are growing as if nominal growth were the same as real growth. But his job over at the National Review is to write such stupidity. It would seem that the Washington Post wants its editorial pages to be even more pathetic than the editorial pages over at the Wall Street Journal.

It would have been interesting to see what real GDP per capita has done since the passage of NAFTA. But the economic know nothings at WaPo can’t be bothered to report this.