Great moments in media math
posted at 1:46 pm on July 15, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Six months ago, I visited North Carolina’s state treasurer, Janet Cowell – the only Democrat in the administration now – and met with citizen advocates.. Our trip had impact, on us at least. On the plane coming home my colleague turned to me shell shocked, “How can it be legal to have so much poverty in such a wealthy state?”
Ask two questions: How rich is the state? And what percentage of its children live in poverty? That’s a working definition of good fiscal policy…. Let’s look at North Carolina. It is the 39th richest state, and yet it ranks 12th for the percentage of children living in poverty – only 11 states fare worse.
Um, ma’am….if it is the 39th richest state, that means it’s the 12th poorest state. That means there are 11 states that are poorer. And if it is the 12th for percentage of children living in poverty….then again there are 11 states that are poorer. It’s exactly the same proportion, not out of line at all. What’s with this “And yet…” thing you got going?
I think what the NYT and Teresa Ghilarducci meant to say was “And yet, this is a conservative state, so it must be awful.” Layers of fact checkers and editors agree, apparently.