Monday, July 16, 2007

The Wall Street Journal editorial page has been so ludicrously dishonest for so long one has to wonder if Rupert Murdoch takes over the paper would this page actually have a chance of improving, given it can't get any worse.

Recent example: the think-trust displays a picture that they hope passes for what they consider to be a Laffer curve. Anyone at all familiar with rudimentary statistics will know that 1) you should discount or even toss outliers, and 2) a technique for doing so is regression analysis. By running a regression, a best-fit line is calculated, most often a straight line (linear). The Economist's View makes an attempt at this analysis (vs. the Journal's absurd Laffer curve, which depends on one outlier data point -- again, as if a six-year old drew it) and lo/behold they come up with a line that slopes steadily upward to the right, exhibiting more revenue results from higher tax rates.

But to a larger point, Kevin Drum correctly comments, "A junior high school geometry student would be embarrassed to produce work like this. But not the Wall Street Journal editorial page. Or the American Enterprise Institute, which created it in the first place. They apparently think their readers are too dumb to see what they're doing. Why their readership puts up with this obvious contempt for their intelligence is a question for another day."

It's not just the gents at the WSJ editorial page but also Fox News, Rush, Hannity, and the rest of the right-wing non-factual distortion machine. They all use their readers to achieve certain agendas, as opposed to actually enlightening them via truth, facts, and intellectual honesty. But since when did the consumers of this tripe ever not mind it, assuming of course they know about it? (big assumption)

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