Monday, June 02, 2008

How to Lie in One Easy Step

Big ego stroking headline: Europe's Rich-Poor Gap Smaller Than America's - But only if you can compare Alabama to Alabama, but Portugal to the entire EU, and ignore the sum-total of what it means to be poor in Europe versus America..

However, the gap between the rich and poor in Portugal, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia is greater than that in the United States, according to the commission report.

The report shows that those most at risk of falling into poverty in the EU are single parents, the retired, the unemployed and families with only one income.
So how about comparing Tirana to Vienna? Can we go there too? As you can see, the fetishizing of national league tables, cherry-picked data, and the like which have no bearing on personal behavior, are used to explain away personal behavior.

But who’s counting? What they’re fishing for isn’t a way of understanding the state of life at the lower end of the ladder in order to improve it, they’re trying to wax their dolphins.

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