June 27, 2014

TNR is lying again: "80 Percent of Conservatives Think the Poor 'Have It Easy.'"

That headline refers to the results of a test — which I linked to here — used by the Pew Research Center to sort Americans into various groups, like "Young Outsider" and "Business Conservative," based on their political predilections. If you took the test, you know that you were presented with pairs of statements, both phrased in a fairly extreme and absolute way, and asked, each time, "Which of the following statements comes closest to your view?" You were not allowed to put yourself right in the middle, where I found myself on most questions. You had to tip one way or the other.

The first question, for example, paired "Government regulation of business is necessary to protect the public interest" and "Government regulation of business usually does more harm than good." Now, I probably picked the first option there, just because of the difference in the phrasing, with "usually" distorting things for me. The first statement is obviously true, since some regulation is necessary and there's no quantitative word like "usually." It really should have been written "Most Government regulation of business is necessary to protect the public interest" to balance the options. But that's a criticism of Pew.

I really want to criticize The New Republic for it's disgusting, deceptive headline. The relevant question had this pairing:
Which of the following statements comes closest to your view?

Poor people today have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return

Poor people have hard lives because government benefits don't go far enough to help them live decently
I suspect most people would have trouble with both statements, but to say that your view comes closest to the first statement is not to say that you "think the poor 'have it easy.'" It's just to reveal that your tendency is to think the government's safety net is too big or too soft or perhaps that too many people are losing their incentive to strive because benefits create dependency.

 So let me ask: Which of the following statements comes closest to your view?
The idiots at The New Republic are too stupid to read and understand the results of the Pew study.

The hacks at The New Republic deliberately twist whatever they can to make conservatives look bad.
IN THE COMMENTS: Ignorance is Bliss said:
There is actually a deeper methodological flaw to TNR's analysis. The poll did not identify liberals and conservatives, then ask them this question, then report the results. It used this question as part of the process of determining who was a liberal and who was a conservative.

Of course conservatives answered the way that they did, that was part of Pew's definition of a conservative.
UPDATE: I have another post and it puts more of the blame on Pew Research Center.

109 comments:

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"The hacks at The New Republic deliberately twist whatever they can to make conservatives look bad."

Danno said...

Either. You nailed it!

Charlie said...

I have the feeling Chrissie Hayes will devote 20 minutes to this on his show tonight.

tim maguire said...

Second one. I ran through the first couple choices in that test just now and you can't tell anything about anybody from how they answer those questions. It is impossible to believe that TNR didn't notice that.

Crimso said...

I'll not be forced into your "either/or" trap. I choose a third view: TNR is a publication with a history of foisting fabricated stories on its readers, and therefore has no credibility. I do thank you for reading them so I don't have to. You periodically confirm my view that TNR is scarcely more than a high school newspaper.

Original Mike said...

"The hacks at The New Republic deliberately twist whatever they can to make conservatives look bad."

In this case, I think the statement is dead-on.

AReasonableMan said...

I prefer this option:

"The hacks at Drudge Report and the Rush Limbaugh show deliberately twist whatever they can to make liberals look bad."

Although this does not appear to disturb Ms Althouse.

rhhardin said...

It's not a lie. It's spin.

It fits the readers' soap opera narrative.

Ridicule their audience, not the business just making a living off selling eyeballs to advertisers.

Danno said...

When choosing between these wide ranging alternatives, how else would one answer this? I saw some statistics a while ago on the relatively high percentages of the poor that owned autos, had cell phones, had air conditioning, etc., and these were pretty high. I think today the biggest issue for the poor is to stay socially connected and to avoid those vices like drinking, drugs, gambling, and the like.

RAH said...

"The hacks at The New Republic deliberately twist whatever they can to make conservatives look bad."

This is the more accurate statement

JackOfVA said...

Both - stupidity and bias are not mutually exclusive.

PB Reader said...

I think the way in which the quiz was structured was crap. And the results worthless. If you're going to ask to choose among a series of binary questions, those questions must represent distinct choices. Many of the questions were fairly fuzzy, some overlapping and open to interpretation.

Also the results of the test would need to be validated by an independent data source. If there is no independent data source, then the quiz serves no useful purpose except to excoriate certain groups for their answers to one or more of the fuzzy misleading questions. I

Ignorance is Bliss said...

There is actually a deeper methodological flaw to TNR's analysis. The poll did not identify liberals and conservatives, then ask them this question, then report the results. It used this question as part of the process of determining who was a liberal and who was a conservative.

Of course conservatives answered the way that they did, that was part of Pew's definition of a conservative.

MattL said...

False choice!

Mary Beth said...

I was going to go with the second choice, then I remembered Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. So I gave it some more thought, and still went with the second one.

Paul Mac said...

You need to make this an actual poll.

campy said...

Tough quiz; both statements come very, very close to my view.

Bobber Fleck said...

I too shared your concerns about the wording of the questions. However, your question about the staff at The New Republic is well formed: The hacks at The New Republic deliberately twist whatever they can to make conservatives look bad.

Their "twisting" is what spin is all about.

Ann Althouse said...

"You need to make this an actual poll."

I considered doing that but chose not to because my point is that this isn't a proper poll.

JackOfVA said...

Some years ago, I had the opportunity to work with market survey researchers trying to assess demand for cellular radio services (this was in the days before cellular existed) and one point they consistently made in framing questions was to avoid giving a 'middle ground' response as that would distort the results. Rather, they insisted, respondents should be given choices on both sides of the middle but never the middle choice.

What do you think of vanilla ice cream?
1) Love it
2) It's good
3) Don't like it
4) Can't stand it

But not a response between 2 and 3 "sometimes I like it and sometimes I don't"

I also went through the survey and noted the lack of a middle answer, but the survey would have been improved in my view with more granularity in the choices but their effort to push the responders into one camp or the other was not accidental.

As an aside note, our survey for Baltimore/Washington predicted - as I recall - something like 10,000 subscribers in 5 years. Needless to say, that was a tad on the low side. That establishes how difficult it is to predict demand for a product that doesn't exist in anything other than an experimental state. (Yes, there was mobile phone service at the time, but it was expensive and technologically limited in both quality and capacity.)

Ann Althouse said...

Not that my polls generally are proper polls. They are often comedy formatted as a poll.

But in this case, the subject of the post is to demonstrate what Pew was doing and I thought the vote on the 2 options would provide a pointless number that would be distracting from my point.

Nichevo said...

You're right, yours is not a good poll question, because the alternatives aren't mutually exclusive. Of coukrse you can akwayys add no th, neither, other as copouts.

Drago said...

ARM: "AReasonableMan said...
I prefer this option:

"The hacks at Drudge Report and the Rush Limbaugh show deliberately twist whatever they can to make liberals look bad."

You are free to point out specific examples.

Which you won't.

Your time is probably better spent telling us why a negative 2.9% GDP is indicative of a "growing economy".

CStanley said...

Ignorance is Bliss is correct, the insult was baked into the poll. I'm not sure why Pew gets a pass, although I agree that TNR exaggerated the effect.

Obviously this was done with malice. The stupidity is that they believe their audience is too stupid to notice.

Bob R said...

I'm going with the stupidity answer as the closest to what I believe. Lot of malice and dishonesty mixed in, but stupidity rules.

Of course, I don't let Pew off the hook. The whole survey should probably be put into an article on "how to misuse big data." There is a quasi-religious faith in things like cluster analysis among people who got a B- in "Statistics for the Social Sciences." There may be information in a data set, but it takes some intelligence to extract it. There is no evidence of that in the Pew survey.

cubanbob said...

AReasonableMan said...
I prefer this option:

"The hacks at Drudge Report and the Rush Limbaugh show deliberately twist whatever they can to make liberals look bad."

Although this does not appear to disturb Ms Althouse.

6/27/14, 8:12 AM

Actually the hacks at Drudge just link to liberals, the liberals do a fine job of exposing themselves without the spin.

As for the poor, if they are able-bodied and health wise capable of work my give-a-crap meter doesn't register for those on 'entitlements' more than six months. If I am expected to provide for myself, so can they for themselves.

Rodger Morrow said...

Lying is, of course, one of The New Republic's core competencies, but the point of trying to show that conservatives (and libertarians) don't care about the poor is to obscure the reality of how little liberal programs have done to lift the poor out of poverty.

Truth be told, the only thing that can help a poor person without a job is a better-off person with a job to give.

Ralph Hyatt said...

"Of course conservatives answered the way that they did, that was part of Pew's definition of a conservative."

Then why isn't the headline:

"100% of conservatives hate the poor and want to see them starving in the streets."

AJ Lynch said...

When I become Emperor For Life, non-profits who don't really have what I call a "Charitable Mission" like PEW will have to spend 100% of their assets within ten years of the bequest or I will confiscate their assets [about $4 Billion last time I looked].

I know I sound like a fascist librul but a great man once said "I mean at some point you have enough money right?"

Matthew Sablan said...

Wow. That was the wording that got the headline? I just ignored going to the Pew Poll because I was lazy.

That... that's pretty horrible misreading.

CWJ said...

Ignorance is Bliss beat me to it, but nailed it.

Even before I got to the meat of your post, as soon as I read that TNR's conclusion was based upon the Pew poll, I thought surely this is definitionally circular.

Levi Starks said...

Can we take these results to mean that 20% of conservatives are are poor?
Which would of course imply that 80% of the poor are liberals?
How's that working out for them?

MadisonMan said...

"The hacks at Drudge Report and the Rush Limbaugh show deliberately twist whatever they can to make liberals look bad."

Although this does not appear to disturb Ms Althouse.

The difference (to me) is that Limbaugh is entertainment. He is an entertaining person, and presents his material in an outstanding way. I think it's hard for "liberals" (whatever they are) to get past the fact that so many of their pet projects are being so very well skewered and appreciate Limbaugh's talents.

In contrast, TNR purports to report news. Frpm a google search: The New Republic tackles politics, culture, and big ideas from an unbiased and thought-provoking perspective. IMO they simply feed their customers what they want, much like pigs at a trough. What is really thought-provoking about that?

From Inwood said...

Then why isn't the headline:

"100% of conservatives hate the poor and want to see them starving in the streets."

Because that is an article of faith with all Liberal/Progressive/Neo-Socialists so no need to give the game away here. Anyway, I guess that 80% sounds more scientific to these unscientific TNR people that an absolute 100%

Paco Wové said...

What awful questions. It's like they were designed to put words in peoples' mouths.

Which of the following statements comes closest to your view?

1. A caricature of 'conservatism'
2. Liberal orthodoxy

tim in vermont said...

Probably could have put a George Will tag on this as well.

tim in vermont said...

Asking a liberal like ARM for examples is like asking the IRS for the contents of a hard drive.

stutefish said...

Another problem with the question is that it says "poor people today", inviting comparison with poor people from earlier generations who did not enjoy today's safety net.

Even if you believe today's safety net is insufficient, you may still believe that poor people today have it easier relative to poor people yesterday. This relationship is implicit in the way the question is phrased, and probably affects the replies.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann,

"I suspect most people would have trouble with both statements, but to say that your view comes closest to the first statement is not to say that you 'think the poor "have it easy."" It's just to reveal that your tendency is to think the government's safety net is too big or too soft or perhaps that too many people are losing their incentive to strive because benefits create dependency."

I can see that, if you think $6.00 a day (in food stamps) saps the incentive, rather than confirms the obvious that even returning vets are learning:

When you really get down to it, the average American citizen's life isn't deemed to be worthy of a decent meal - or the decency that should accompany it.

It's just more Patriotism a la carte' bullshit,...

CWJ said...

BTW, Hotair appears to have done something similar yesterday. See Allahpundit's posting regarding only 40% of liberals being proud to be an American.

kcom said...

JackOfVA: I also went through the survey and noted the lack of a middle answer, but the survey would have been improved in my view with more granularity in the choices but their effort to push the responders into one camp or the other was not accidental.

Unfortunately, whatever their intention, they're not even doing that (or, at least, doing it well). In the previous post on this topic I highlighted an environmental question that doesn't give two extremes with no middle. It gives one extreme answer and one sliding scale answer. The gist of the options were 1) We should do "whatever it takes" to protect the environment. 2) We've gone too far to protect the environment.

The proper opposite of the first option is "we should do nothing" to protect the environment. As it is, part 2 is a question unto itself and not the opposite of the first. One can agree we need to protect the environment (even extremely so) while still disagreeing how far along the scale of "too far" we've gone (without ever believing we need to do the absolutist "whatever it takes").

The question as worded is a disaster of stupidity, unless the intention is solely to separate out the absolutist wacky fringe who would burn the village to save it.

AntiBathos said...

I feel old. I can remember when THR was a helluva magazine, diverse viewpoints and always substantive. Current version is a clickbait cartoon. Sad thing is that the current crew probably does not have the wit, character or education to see how far they have sunk.

AReasonableMan said...

MadisonMan said...
IMO they simply feed their customers what they want, much like pigs at a trough. What is really thought-provoking about that?


Just like Drudge and Limbaugh.

This whininess about the world is remarkably one-sided.

jono39 said...

Only for you would I participate in this kind of bullshit. I am a 74 year old YOUNG OUTSIDER. The questions may well reflect the tensions which exist within the disintegrating ONE PARTY SYSTEM we created during the Cold War which I call THE NATIONAL TREASURY PARTY, but they present alternatives that will only accelerate us toward the coming political crisis. I am a supporter of the idea for a Constitutiomnal Convention. We have a decade of suffering and hard work to achieve this. I am an optimist. What we have now, if unchanged will end in Fascism.

Titus said...

I took the "pole" and thought it was really poorly written.

tits.

From Inwood said...

IMHO, unscientific & based on anecdotal evidence, 80% of self-proclaimed poor people think that others are getting more from the system & waaa, it's unfair.

Also 100% of TNR readers think that conservatives are mean & against the principles of Social Justice.

That is when they are not just rightwingnutjobs, antediluvian troglodytes, clinging to their guns & religion.

To be feared of shunned as the circumstances demand.

Madison Man: TNR is comfort food for Lefties.


Matthew Sablan said...

"Then why isn't the headline:

"100% of conservatives hate the poor and want to see them starving in the streets.""

-- Not everyone Pew identifies as conservative answered that question that way; however, if you answered that question that way, Pew was more likely to pseudo-arbitrarily call you a conservative.

So, if you needed to answer 51% of the questions conservatively to be a conservative, you could have "missed" that question and still been counted as one.

This is a simple bit of basic statistical reasoning that is easily overlooked.

Matthew Sablan said...

Ugh. Question 2 [on success] is as bad as question 1 [on government regulation.] There's no definition for success or "making it." Hard work and determination will, at minimum, get you basic housing and food in America. It may be crummy of both, but it CAN do that. But, what if people consider success a middle class life style?

Question 3 -- on the environment -- I'm curious who chose "whatever it takes." Purging about 50-70% of the human population would do a lot of good for the environment. Should we do that? Compared to purging most of humanity to preserve the environment, the country certainly hasn't gone "too far," but that's closer than "Kill most of us."

Question 4 has a new problem. "Defeating" terrorism, like defeating any military force, DOES require overwhelming power. However, the political rebuilding afterwards can't be a dictatorship. Since there's no middle ground, I have to say: Yes. Obviously we can't just rely on military force -- we can't have a peace of shackles and the grave to defeat terrorism. The extremist positions really force those who choose one to be kind of monstrous.

On racial discrimination: It would be better to just come out and ask us if we believe in systemic racial oppression. Because, most black people AREN'T responsible for their starting position in life more than anyone else. But what keeps MOST of them there isn't institutional racism. Thus, I'm forced to pick an option that is the least monstrous of two horribles.

Question 6 is the only easy one so far [on corporate profits.]

Fun fact: After question 7 I learned you can hit NEXT QUESTION without making a choice, but you just error out at the end. That's a pretty big oversight quiz design person!

James Pawlak said...

The P-U Centre and all others should remember that a "Scientific Test/Survey" is "valid and reliable" and "with a high level of confidence".

If the readers does not understand those terms, it is time for those persons to get a "real education"!

chrisnavin.com said...

Surely, if this is what some ideologues do with statistics and polls, think of what they'll do with (S)cience!

bbkingfish said...

If you don't like that poll, here's one from last week from the WSJ. The headline promotes a different spin (naturally), but masks similar results on the point in question.

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2014/06/20/attitudes-toward-poverty-show-dramatic-change-wsjnbc-poll/

Thorley Winston said...


"Of course conservatives answered the way that they did, that was part of Pew's definition of a conservative."

Then why isn't the headline:

"100% of conservatives hate the poor and want to see them starving in the streets."


Because if a respondent chose enough of the options that the creators of the poll had deemed the “conservative” response, they’d still be counted as a conservative even if they didn’t answer a particular question the way that poll creators had deemed would be the “conservative” response.


Jonathan Silber said...

...relatively high percentages of the poor that owned autos, had cell phones, had air conditioning, etc...

If a person has all these things and more, how can he be said to be poor?

SH said...

also; to claim its political conservatives is a play on words. Did the respondents ever say they were political conservatives? Why do I get associated with the people on the test... exactly?

Jay said...

The first question, for example, paired "Government regulation of business is necessary to protect the public interest" and "Government regulation of business usually does more harm than good." Now, I probably picked the first option there, just because of the difference in the phrasing, with "usually" distorting things for me. The first statement is obviously true, since some regulation is necessary and there's no quantitative word like "usually.

Things that can not be quantified are no "obviously true" at all.

It is an utterly preposterous statement by you.

SH said...

AReasonableMan said...
I prefer this option:

"The hacks at Drudge Report and the Rush Limbaugh show deliberately twist whatever they can to make liberals look bad.

Me too; if you can see the TNR is no more accurate than Limbaugh then our work here is done.

n.n said...

The limit of any redistributive scheme is the sponsorship of corruption, both of the recipient and the manager. However, in general, the issue of entitlements is settled through a reconciliation of general welfare and individual rights.

n.n said...

Redistributive change schemes, including welfare, and ideologies, including communism, socialism, fascism, etc., are impractical other than in a small, homogenous society of a certain character. Capitalism is only practical with implicit (i.e. competing interests) or explicit (i.e. independent regulation) oversight. The common issue is a progressive, in the case of capitalism, or designed, in the case of left-wing economic systems, dissociation of risk, which promotes a consolidation of capital and control in minority hands.

Anyway, this is why conservatives are predominantly middle class, and classify "welfare" for rehabilitation. And why "liberals" and "progressives" are predominantly wealthy or poor. Then, of course, we need to consider the "social" trajectory, where the left has curried favor with promises of [selective] libertinism, which is also favored to cause dissociation of risk.

Jim T said...

The "poor have it easy" also specifies that it is the poor of "today", while the other option does not. I took it as a comparison with the poor of earlier generations, and in comparison with, say, sharecroppers in the 1940's, today's poor have it VERY easy.

Mimi Black said...

...What Crimso said.

eric said...

Crack wrote;

"When you really get down to it, the average American citizen's life isn't deemed to be worthy of a decent meal - or the decency that should accompany it."

I don't know what this has to do with the American citizen. Every life, American or no, is worthy of a decent meal.

Which is why we, as individuals, should be out in our community helping to feed the hungry and clothe the poor.

However, if you don't want to do that Crack, I'll support your right not to do that. I'll even go so far as to vote against my government if they try and take it from you, by force, to feed someone else.

We can agree that the hungry ought to be fed.

Where we disagree is that we ought to steal from one person in order to give it to another person. This is evil.

Make your own choices, don't force them upon others.

Don Pettengill said...

This is typical, in my opinion, for Pew. That's why I ignore both Pew and any articles on what "a Pew survey finds".

Oso Negro said...

We have no "poor" people in this country. Real poor people are skinny. That is the way I like to see poor people. Real skinny. Then I can be sure they are poor.

SOJO said...

Yeah, that's one of the reasons I didn't answer quite a few of the questions *despite* having read and understood the instructions.

It's not just true of TNR or Pew either. It's any computerized quiz including those at accredited universities as well as corporate personality analyses.

Never believe that "comes closest" or "more right" bullshit. It's just there to settle you down and force you to get in line, as it were.

hombre said...

ARM: "The hacks at Drudge Report and the Rush Limbaugh show deliberately twist whatever they can to make liberals look bad."

I don't know about Rush, but I thought Drudge was compiling and linking. Is that the same as "twisting," or is Lefty Logic at work here.

P.S. As long as there are "liberals," no one else is needed to make them look bad.

MadisonMan said...

ARM: You miss my point, deliberately.

Limbaugh does not represent himself as a news organization. I might even argue that Drudge doesn't do News either -- he "just" posts links and makes subtle comments.

TNR is allegedly news.

Revenant said...

What a badly-constructed set of poll questions.

Drago said...

MadisonMan said...
ARM: You miss my point, deliberately

Precisely.

As Ann noted yesterday, if the left wasn't mischaracterizing someone on the right or middle, they wouldn't have anything to say at all.

It's all spin/obfuscate/twist all the time now.

Given the performance of their earth-bound Messiah, what other choice do they have?

It helps that their followers are such delightful little sheep as well.

DCE said...

It was a form of push polling, directing respondents to one end of a spectrum or another. No legitimate poll would be so binary because it tries to shoehorn respondents into one narrow category or another. The actual range where one might find one's self is much greater than the either/or sorting done by TNR's 'poll'.

ALP said...

Ugh. Question 2 [on success] is as bad as question 1 [on government regulation.] There's no definition for success or "making it." Hard work and determination will, at minimum, get you basic housing and food in America. It may be crummy of both, but it CAN do that. But, what if people consider success a middle class life style?
**************
I read #2 in the context of knowing many, many very talented artists that done everything right in terms of marketing their work...but still can't sell enough of it to call it "a living". Thus, in my mind, talent + hard work is no guarantee. Far from it. There is a percentage of luck in all successes - right place, right time, with all the foundations in place.

The Godfather said...

Yes, the poll is crap and the New Republic is supercrap.

However, I thought the poll was thought-provoking. If faced with two incorrect choices, and required to pick one of them, which do I pick, and why? In my case, in many instances I picked the wrong answer that sounded more "right libertarian" to me, because that's how I see myself. Of course right libertarian wasn't one of the Pew categories, but what Pew calls "business conservative" probably includes a lot of right libertarians.

You could use such a poll's results for self-reflection, and perhaps in the right group a basis for an interesting discussion. What you can't use it for is to figure out what Americans actually think about various issues. To do that, you'd have to do a poll in which there are answers that are actually correct, rather than less wrong.

Matthew Sablan said...

Are you in favor of national service?

Oh, Yes, Prime Minister, what don't you teach us?

Original Mike said...

@SH said: "if [ARM] can see the TNR is no more accurate than Limbaugh then our work here is done."

Point, SH.

FreddyB said...

I doubt that the TNR fans will even notice the incompatibility of believing 80% of conservatives are rich people who disdain the poor with their belief that most Republicans are poor suckers brainwashed by the Kochs into voting against their own interests (e.g. Thomas Frank's "What's the Matter With Kansas.")

Rich E said...

The poll it self is poorly designed, I have designed polls, not professionally, but for my PhD Dissertation and to do so studied survey design and went through many iterations to ensure that is actually measured what I was looking for.
Oh Sorry I just qualified my own statement

Gahrie said...

If a person has all these things and more, how can he be said to be poor?

Because poverty measures your income, not your standard of living, and does not include most wealth transfers from the government.

To make the poverty measure even more meaningless, the poverty level is contiously revised upward.

Gahrie said...

When you really get down to it, the average American citizen's life isn't deemed to be worthy of a decent meal - or the decency that should accompany it.

Then why oh why does the US government spend billions of dollars providing food to the poor in this country and around the world?

Hell we spend billions a year on free lunches and breakfasts to students at school every day. (much, if not most, of which is wasted)

fizzymagic said...

Ralph Hyatt said...

"Then why isn't the headline:

"100% of conservatives hate the poor and want to see them starving in the streets.""

Because people like you who don't understand anything about statistics exist.

It's stunning to witness the complete lack of mathematical and scientific knowledge among politically-interested people of all stripes.

Matthew Sablan said...

"I read #2 in the context of knowing many, many very talented artists that done everything right in terms of marketing their work...but still can't sell enough of it to call it "a living"."

-- Someone who digs ditches in the woods and fills them back up is also doing "hard work." If, however, they aren't getting paid -- I have to question whether they're really trying. If these folks are as talented as you say, there may be some luck in getting to do what they want for a living. But, if they sucked it up and got a crap job to pay the bills and sidelined their dreams, they'd be able to make it just fine, thank you very much.

The fact is, in America at least, mediocre, and even good "art," from local artists is in surplus. I would love to make a living as a writer; instead, I've decided to do the smart thing and use my marketable skills to get a good job and write on the side.

Or, I could've kept living at home mailing out short stories and novellas until I maybe break free.

This isn't meant to be some sort of horrible: "Artists suck! Become a company man," but you have a responsibility to yourself. If you can't make a living doing a thing, find a different thing to make the living and pursue your hobby while you can.

CWJ said...

bbkingfish wrote -

"If you don't like that poll, here's one from last week from the WSJ. The headline promotes a different spin (naturally), but masks similar results on the point in question."

Sorry, no it doesn't. It really doesn't. Try not being so superficial.

Aside from the fact the the question, though interesting, is not really comparable to the Pew question/TNR assertion, the analytic approaches are polar opposites.

The WSJ poll used political affiliation to break out respondents' responses to the question. The Pew study used repsondents' answer to the question(s) to determine their ideological orientation.

Jim Parrett said...

Wow. Another 'liberal' post from 'liberal' Ann Althouse. AReasonalblean said it best:

"The hacks at Drudge Report and the Rush Limbaugh show deliberately twist whatever they can to make liberals look bad."

Although this does not appear to disturb Ms Althouse.

AReasonableMan said...

Drago said...
As Ann noted yesterday, if the left wasn't mischaracterizing someone on the right or middle, they wouldn't have anything to say at all.

It's all spin/obfuscate/twist all the time now.



The whininess continues unabated. The right has an entire news network devoted to this purpose as well as endless radio shows, even if the average age of their listeners now approaches that of Methuselah.

Jim Parrett said...

Wow. Another 'liberal' post from 'liberal' Ann Althouse. AReasonalblean said it best:

"The hacks at Drudge Report and the Rush Limbaugh show deliberately twist whatever they can to make liberals look bad."

Although this does not appear to disturb Ms Althouse.

Drago said...

ARM: "The right has an entire news network devoted to this purpose as well as endless radio shows..."

How many "news" networks and movie studios and radio shows and academic departments does the left have devoted to this purpose?

And here is ARM whining about 1 news network and a few conservative radio shows (that are clustered on a few radio stations).

Typical lefty.

Cannot stand even the thought that there might be 1 place in a hundred that doesn't toe the lefty line.

Drago said...

Again, I'm just hoping ARM has the mental capacity to take in and internalize that a negative 2.9% GDP is not a "growing economy".

But hey, that number may or may not have been mentioned on Fox News, so I guess it can be safely discarded.

AReasonableMan said...

Drago said...
Again, I'm just hoping ARM has the mental capacity to take in and internalize that a negative 2.9% GDP


Obama is a piker compared with Bush who gave us a -8.9% annualized GDP 'growth'. And, we still haven't cleared out the mortgage mess that Bush and Greenspan created. But you continue to prattle on about what how good Republicans are for the economy, no one is listening.

ALP said...

Matthew Sablan:

The fact is, in America at least, mediocre, and even good "art," from local artists is in surplus.
************
This.

The barrier to entry is so low - all one needs is a digital camera and an internet connection, and you can set up shop on Etsy even if your product is pure crap devoid of originality or good workmanship! See regretsy.com for proof (it stuns me to no end to see what people think will sell). No training, degree or diploma needed. Has there ever been a time in Western history that allowed so many people to attempt a living, or at least gain a few bucks, from their passions and hobbies? I doubt it.

On the demand side - I'll bet we have a very high percentage of the US population that owns some sort of original art or craft.

All pure speculation on my part, I keep my eyes open for some kind of study done on the subject. I'd love to see some research done on the state of supply/demand for arts and crafts with some historical depth.

n.n said...

Drago:

That's after trillion dollar debt infusions. There is no evidence that the economy was, is, or will ever be capable of compensating for that borrowed capacity. At least not without a reset.

Sam L. said...

Lying? Oh, noooooooooooooooooooooo! Who woulda thunk it?

Gahrie said...

Obama is a piker compared with Bush who gave us a -8.9% annualized GDP 'growth'.

Bush was dealing with a recession and the worst terrorist attack in U.S. History. Obama has had to deal with neither, and is in charge of the worst recovery after a recession in modern history.

And, we still haven't cleared out the mortgage mess that Bush and Greenspan created

More bullshit. The housing crisis was created by Democratic Congressmen forcing Fannie and Freddie to make sub par loans, and then putting their heads in the sand when Bush and economists warned of the problem they were creating.

Rusty said...


Obama is a piker compared with Bush who gave us a -8.9% annualized GDP 'growth'. And, we still haven't cleared out the mortgage mess that Bush and Greenspan created. But you continue to prattle on about what how good Republicans are for the economy, no one is listening.


Where does this come from?

not just republicans some democrats too.
wait till conservatives are in charge.

DCE said...

Obama is a piker compared with Bush who gave us a -8.9% annualized GDP 'growth'.

Maybe on your planet a less than 7% U6 unemployment rate is considered economic contraction. On the other had I believe you pulled that number out of thin air. That much negative growth in the GPD would have had us in an economic depression within 18 months and unemployment well into double digits, so I'm calling "Bulls**t" on your claim.

And, we still haven't cleared out the mortgage mess that Bush and Greenspan created.

I'm calling "Bulls**t" on this one too. The problem goes all the way back to the Clinton Administration when a certain "lecturer" was part of a lawsuit that forced an expansion of the CRA and required banks to start giving loans to borrowers who weren't capable of paying them back. Then Democrat darlings like Barney Frank and Chris Dodd ignored warnings that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac needed to rein in sub-prime loans and stop commoditizing mortgages into Mortgage Backed Securities. (It was GWB who wanted to end that and started warning Congress that practice because he knew something wasn't right with Fannie and Freddie. But Frank in particular kept blowing him off, stating more than once in front of the cameras that Fannie and Freddie were just fine and that Bush was just being paranoid.

You seem to think that you can change history to match your beliefs by just proclaiming the things that just aren't so as fact. You are entitled to your opinions, but not your own facts, particularly facts that are so easily verifiable from reliable sources, meaning not TNR or Huff Po or DailyKos but places like OMB, the Congressional Record, and if you're willing to search, YouTube.

Welcome to the real world, pal.

eric said...

The Democrats gave us the mortgage mess and are trying to give it to us again. The Democrats absolutely denied in hearing after hearing that there were any problems on the horizen or that any changes needed to be made.

They blocked President Bush at every turn.

Only the low information voters think blocking the Presidents agenda started with the Obama administration. The Republicans got nothing on the Democrats ability to block.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aSKSoiNbnQY0

AReasonableMan said...

Gahrie said...
Bush was dealing with a recession


A tiny little recession, not the Great Bush Recession that he handed to Obama. Do you know anything about our recent economic history?

CWJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AReasonableMan said...

CWJ, you are a complete idiot. The 2.9% value is annualized. Why bother commenting here if you have no clue what you are talking about?

The reason you and Drago are such idiots is that you cannot admit what a complete disaster Bush was for the economy, whereas Obama has been a relative success. Fortunately the electorate is not as stupid as you two.

AReasonableMan said...

DCE said...
That much negative growth in the GPD would have had us in an economic depression within 18 months and unemployment well into double digits, so I'm calling "Bulls**t" on your claim.


This is because you have no idea what you are talking about. Why not google 'US quarterly annualized GDP' and acquaint yourself with some facts?

DCE said...

"The reason you and Drago are such idiots is that you cannot admit what a complete disaster Bush was for the economy, whereas Obama has been a relative success."

Your definition of success is serious skewed if what you call what we have experienced during the Obama years as success. Th economy boomed during the Bush years, but that slowed once the Democrats took control of Congress. After that it was all down hill. Once "The Won" took office it accelerated.

Make all the claims you about how effed up the Bush years were, history and facts prove otherwise and no amount of your prevarication will change that.

BTW, what color is the sky on the planet you're from, because it sure as heck isn't this one... or you're off your meds again because it is quite obvious you are having difficulty distinguishing between reality and delusions. So far it appears the delusions are winning and your grasp of reality is waning.

CWJ said...

ARM,

Yeah, sorry about that. I realized my error almost immediately. That's why I deleted my comment as soon as I could, but obviously not quick enough to avoid your notice.

Thanks for the gratuitous abuse. I'll take it to heart.

Drago said...

ARM: "A tiny little recession..."

LOL

Remember, this comment is made after a decade+ of the left claiming Bush was handed a wonderful economy!

No wonder ARM is so upset that there might be a talking head or two along with a single network that might not toe the lefty line.

Can't afford to have any real truth seeping through the dem firewall.

And the idea that Bush was responsible for the mortgage mess is right up there with the lefty 9-11 conspiracy theories.

Keep on spinning ARM.

Recall that we have been told over and over and over again that obama had already saved the economy and that it was growing.

So, lefty logic: a negative 2.9% GDP last quarter is representative of a saved and growing economy.

I don't blame you for running away from your non-stop stream of lies.

It must be embarrassing for you.

DCE said...

ARM said "Why not google 'US quarterly annualized GDP' and acquaint yourself with some facts?"

I did, and do you know what I found? Not what you did.

Using 2000 as a starting point and 2009 constant valued US dollars, the annual growth in real GDP in 2001 was 0.2%, 2002 was 1.9%, 2003 was 4.3%, 2004 was 3.1%, 2005 was 3.0%, 2006 was 2.4%, 2007 was 1.9%, 2008 was -2.9%, 2009 was -0.3%, 2010 was 2.7%, 2011 was 2.0%, 2012 was 1.9%, and 2013 was 2.5%. These are from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Looking at your claim, I don't see where there was a -8.9% annualized GPD growth...unless you're talking about when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress during the last two years of the Bush administration- 2007/2008. (Yes, I know I was looking at the actual annual growth, not the quarterly projected growth. But in the end it is the actual annual growth that counts.) I agree that one quarter of a contracting economy doesn't automatically mean that will be the case for the entire year, but it isn't an indicator of good economic news.

AReasonableMan said...

DCE said...
But in the end it is the actual annual growth that counts.


You should tell this to Drago, although I am not sure he has sufficient synapses to process multiple pieces of information at once.

AReasonableMan said...

CWJ said...
Thanks for the gratuitous abuse. I'll take it to heart.


Fair complaint. Once Drago gets involved I just assume everyone is an idiot until proven otherwise.


Original Mike said...

DCE @ 10:42 pm "I'm calling "Bulls**t" on this one too. The problem goes all the way back to the Clinton Administration when a certain "lecturer" was part of a lawsuit that forced an expansion of the CRA and required banks to start giving loans to borrowers who weren't capable of paying them back ...

I am painfully aware of the history you ably summarized except Obama's contribution. I'll have to look this up. Thanks for your post.

Drago said...

ARM: "Once Drago gets involved I just assume everyone is an idiot until proven otherwise."

The guy who claimed that negative GDP was as indicator of a growing economy is in no position to lecture anyone else anywhere else on anything else.

Drago said...

ARM: "You should tell this to Drago, although I am not sure he has sufficient synapses to process multiple pieces of information at once."

Hilarious.

The Fed's lower the GDP numbers for the last quarter from negative .1% to negative 2.9%.

This is on top of reduced durable goods orders in May (unexpectedly!!) in just about every sector as well has lower than expected housing starts and retail sales suggesting the 2nd quarter is shaping up to be a bit of a bust as well.

With recession defined as 2 consecutive quarters of negative growth and the results of last quarter on top of our lagging leading indicators in the latest quarter, it's clear that our economy is not doing well at all.

So what is ARM's response?

Exactly as you'd expect.

Claim others don't understand this or that or the other (without evidence of that, of course.)

Just another day of "dialogue" with a lefty.

Nothing new under the sun.

Drago said...

In fact, since ARM would like to deflect any and all attention away from obama's horrendous 1st quarter performance, here's some more food for thought: th US would still need 4% growth in the 2nd quarter and 3% growth in the 3rd/4th quarters just to reach a pathetically anemic 1.7% growth rate for 2014.

Heckuva job barack.

Rusty said...


Blogger DCE said...
ARM said "Why not google 'US quarterly annualized GDP' and acquaint yourself with some facts?"

I did, and do you know what I found? Not what you did.


Somewhere in that mess of data you just reported on is the actual annualized GDP figures for 2009-2013 is something like -10%

lee woo said...

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