Tuesday, September 07, 2004


It looks like Associated Press are now outdoing Reuters for bias: AP actually lies: "A widely circulated Associated Press article says, "The wealthiest 20 percent of households in 1973 accounted for 44 percent of total U.S. income, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Their share jumped to 50 percent in 2002.".... By using the word "jumped," the AP story clearly implies the income share of the top 20 percent "jumped to 50 percent in 2002." In fact, the share fell to 49.7 percent in 2002 from 50.1 percent in 2001. To describe a falling number as a "jump" seems remarkably shameless, even in an election year...... And although the story claims the share at the top "has steadily increased," it actually rose from 46.9 percent in 1992 to 49.8 percent in 2000 (when Bill Clinton was president), but has not risen at all since then". For the most notorious AP lie, see here.

Rich poor people: "Much is made of the fact that the US has a higher poverty rate (and in something called 'shameful,' child poverty rate) than all of the other OECD countries. It does indeed sound terribly bad doesn't it? Yet the fact that poverty rates are relative within a country, not either absolute or relative across countries is not mentioned. All that has actually been noted with such poverty rates is that the US has a wider distribution of income, not something that we didn't already know." And as Blithering Bunny notes: "Nearly half the statistically defined 'poor' have air conditioning, more than half owned cars, and more than 20,000 'poor' households have their own heated swimming pools or Jacuzzis".

Benefits of the Bush tax cut for dividends: "The new rates have made a difference since becoming law in May 2003. The tax cut not only reduced the burden on individuals, it also reduced the cost of capital to corporations. The economic benefits of the lower dividend tax rates will increase over time, and they will be even greater if Congress makes the rate cuts permanent -- and greater still, if the taxation of dividends is completely eliminated."

The recent Australian triumph over union coercion: "All workers had a win on Thursday. The High Court ruled that unions cannot compel people who are not members to pay them a fee if they receive union-negotiated pay rises. And it barred unions from taking industrial action over anything except wages and conditions in any enterprise. Union leaders are already denouncing the decision. They say non-members are bludgers, but ignore the obvious fact that sustainable pay rises are based on productivity, rather than union intervention. Senior official John Maitland says unions should be able to "talk about" anything they like, from childcare to the environment. And so they should, but stating a case does not include taking industrial action in pursuit of activist agendas".


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