Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Not exactly a lie,

... this article nevertheless makes an important point.  However, the point is quite complicated and basically unrelated to the headline.  Reminds me of about 98% of what I read.

The headline is:

'Nearly Half of American Children Living Near Poverty Line'

"Millions of children are living in families still struggling to make ends meet in our low-growth, low-wage economy":


That headline stuck me as kinda odd.  I know that while poverty in America is a completely real problem (eg. homelessness here in Seattle is very visible) it's certainly not "nearly half" of Americans who live in poverty.  So how could nearly half of the children be living near poverty when it's only around 15% of the overall population.  Do poor people have that many more kids?  What's going on here?  Tell me more!?

Sucka.  

So I click through.  The real point of the article turns out to be that the US does not have a very equal income distribution.  Shocker, I know.  Reading the actual findings of the study, you see that "near the poverty line" is actually defined as 200% of the poverty line.  Since the household poverty line is drawn at $24k, "near" it becomes any household making less than $48k.  Now, don't get me wrong, this is not a lot of money for a of household of 4 people.  However, since the median household income in the US is only $52k, "near the poverty line" has obviously now been defined in way that robs it of pretty much any meaning other than "below the median income".  

And the bit about children?  Well, I guess the main point becomes that children are people too! Because it turns out that roughly the same percentage of children are below the poverty line (21%) as adults (15%), And of course, since the Newspeak definition of "near the poverty line" is in fact "below median" you won't be surprised to discover that "nearly half" of the children are in below median income households.  Congratulations!  You know the definition of "median".

But that is not news, apparently.