Friday, February 24, 2006


I'm just back from the NYS Association of Towns meeting in New York. I'll write about that later.

But for now look at Brad DeLong's post, Lies, Damn Lies, and Gingrichisms. DeLong is slick at unraveling sloppy thinking. Gingrich reads: "kids on Medicaid are six times more likely to be treated for severe obesity," and repeats it as "children on Medicaid are six times as likely to be obese as children who are not on Medicaid."

Look, also, at the comment from Glen Fleishman explaining a similar distortion. We've all seen deliberate misuse of statistics, but these examples may be showing a simple failure to understand the initial reports. I'm not sure which is worse.

Incidentally, I find it interesting that I rarely check Brad's statistics. I trust him.


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