Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

Varney and CoFOXBusiness

I love statistics. I’ve been calculating batting averages and points per game in my head since I was 8 years old. I love numbers and the stories that can be told with them. Maybe that is why I get so angry when my beloved statistics are twisted and contorted to make cheap political points.

I also get angry when people call me fat. Sure, I’m not as skinny as I used to be, and I’ve recently broken 200 pounds. But at 6-foot-2, I don’t exactly think I’m fat. But the government says I’m overweight. I’d have to lose 10 pounds to fit their definition of normal. (Here’s the Mayo Clinic BMI calculator if you want to see if the government thinks you’re a fattie too:

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 68 percent of adults in the United States were either overweight or obese in 2008. Then they use that statistic as an excuse to push their nanny state agenda. I’m not denying an obesity problem in America but if more than 2/3 of us are overweight maybe the problems is not only with us, but with the phony statistics being used.

I have another example. 46.2 million Americans (15.1%) live below the poverty line, according to the Census Bureau. You may remember we covered this topic extensively last year when Stuart pointed out the real situation of the so-called “poor” in America. 63% have cable or satellite TV, 54% have cell phones and 32% have more than 2 TVs in their household. A family with all of those things is probably not poor by any objective definition, except the government’s. Once again the government lowers the standards, in this case to make more people poor, so it can give them more benefits.

I don’t think anyone wants a system where poor people starve to death in the streets. But if we had a more accurate assessment of who really needed government assistance, we’d be able to give those people more help, without going broke.

I could give a third example about Al Gore and the global warming hysteria he created by cherry-picking only the most dire data, but that delves more into science and as I stated at the top, I love numbers not science.

There’s a psychiatric disorder known as Münchausen syndrome by proxy where someone makes their child sick, in order to be the one who cares for that child.

That seems to be what’s going on here. Politicians want people to be fat, poor or the victims of global warming so they can be the ones to solve the problem. Unfortunately they’re misusing my beloved statistics to do it.