Summer 2017

A Healthy Dose of Facts

Economists wage a campaign for truth.

The cover of a Time magazine issue this year posed the question “Is Truth Dead?” Tufts economist Michael Klein has responded with an emphatic no. He and Edward Schumacher-Matos, F73, director of the Fletcher School’s Murrow Center for a Digital World, launched the online publication EconoFact (econofact.org) as a nonpartisan antidote to fake news and political wrangling. In it, Klein and more than 40 other academic economists—including Friedman School professor William Masters—are waging their own campaign for veracity by posting short, easily understandable analyses of pressing economic- and social-policy issues, such as education funding and trade deficits. Masters has contributed two posts on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which some congressional leaders have called to restrict. Regarding concerns that assistance could encourage fraud and create dependency, Masters wrote, the data on SNAP show it to be “the temporary, low-fraud, family-friendly safety net that conservatives would like to see.” —Taylor McNeil

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