If you're comfortably entrenched at the University of Maryland and not worried about a mortgage like Michigan autoworkers, you can understand why it's important that there will be debate about the actual numbers of jobs at risk.    A new projection by the University of Maryland's Inforum economic research unit says peak job losses from automobile bankruptcies would be half of the 3 million commonly stated in the media. 

And if the University of Maryland is wrong, oh well, no one will lose their job.  

The three million job-loss figure comes from two separate studies, which are technically correct  but based on implausible assumptions, says University of Maryland economist Jeffrey Werling, Inforum executive director.

"If 100 percent of the manufacturing capacity of the Big Three totally disappeared in a puff of smoke, about three million jobs could indeed be eliminated," he says. "However, we think that at most 40 percent of the Detroit-3 auto manufacturing capacity would be lost, and that this would mean a peak loss of 1.5 million jobs. But we think the more likely figure is just under a million."

No economists in that 1 million, to be sure.

Why are they right and everyone else wrong?   They used a computer program called  LIFT, 'the research group's dynamic, interindustry model of the U.S. economy' which has been under development and improvement for the last 40 years but, surprisingly, did not predict the mortgage industry collapse or the recession or the impending banktuptcy of automobile companies.

Take a look at it here so you can make fun of them too.