Thinking as a Hobby

Get Email Updates
Email Me

Admin Password

Remember Me

3477655 Curiosities served
Share on Facebook

Les Miserabless
Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Read/Post Comments (0)

Easterblogg does a good job of skewering the ridiculous Middle Class Misery Index launched by the Kerry campaign.

...the indicators in Kerry's middle-class misery index have been chosen because they are negative. Homeownership rates are positive; this category seems to have been added to allow for one favorable trend. But many other major positive categories have been ignored, and when what purports to be a weighing of evidence only takes into account negative evidence, the result is foam. Suppose I announced an Easterblogg Happiness Index with these indicators: mortgage interest rates, crime rates, rates of heart disease, life expectancy at birth, rates of car ownership, median home size, air quality, water quality, highest educational degree earned, rates of accidental death, percentage of workforce employed in white-collar professions. Needless to say, I've chosen these because all trends in these categories are favorable. My happiness index would not be a fair assessment of society, because I've excluded the negatives. (Maybe I should throw in "accuracy of NBA jump shots" just to have one negative.) My all-positive index wouldn't tell you the larger trend just as Kerry's all-negative index does not.

Yes...Easterbrook rightly points out the stupidity of cherry-picking indicators to rate middle-class "misery" (itself a grotesque hyperbole to use). Ultimately the use of such a term is subjective, so if you really wanted to find out if America's middle class were miserable or not, you could simply ask them. I guess all those people buying new homes and cars because of record low interest rates could still reply that they're miserable (in spite of heavy doses of Zoloft and Prozac), since money, after all, doesn't buy happiness.

But as I've said before, with regard to John Edwards' campaign, this distorted vision of America as 98% shit-covered peasants too bone-thin and weak to muster up the strength to steal a crust of bread, and 2% corporate executives chomping cigars as they do doughnuts in their yachts off the coast of portray America this way in the face of real misery, such as the racial slaughter of black muslims in Sudan...well, it's grotesque. How do you think it must sound to an African refugee to hear Americans whining about inflation rates?

That's misery?

Read/Post Comments (0)

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Back to Top

Powered by JournalScape © 2001-2010 All rights reserved.
All content rights reserved by the author.