Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fun with Republicans: Yuri Hertzberg’s Party Picker

Having trouble talking sense to your Republican neighbors and friends? Have no fear, Yuri is here.

Yuri Hertzberg of the San Fransisco Chronicle was fed up trying to talk about the facts behind the issues with his conservative friends, so he came up with a rather ingenious way of forcing an open mind. The trick is making an analogy to purchasing something innocuous like dish soap and then secondly, hiding the party names and just presenting the record.

You know the old deal: you’re at a family dinner and the Republican Fox watcher starts in on you about Obama and socialism. You try talking sense and eventually you give way to rage, and mention that red states are welfare states so who’s redistributing the wealth?

Scatterplot posted about this on their blog:

“With one exception, Red states gain big (I divide states by how they voted for Obama; not a great metric, but not a terrible one)… What we basically see is that only one Red State pays in more than its share (Texas). Clearly, as Begala jests, Red States are big welfare states. Now I don’t object to this, because they happen to be poorer states. And I believe in wealth redistribution. But why do states that have a net gain from the Federal government vote against a party that wants to continue to support then, and why do states that lose out in the deal continue to support a party that wants to take money away from their local communities?” and then happily linked to the Tax Foundation proof.

Now, you and I both know that when Scatterplot goes to show this to his Republican friends, they’re going to come back with how liberals are lounging around on welfare, so we should shut up. In other words, no good will come of these facts, regardless of how well presented they are.

I feel your pain, Scattershot. And apparently, so did Yuri. Clever Yuri.

Yuri says, “First, I asked my friends how they would go about choosing a new dishwasher. We agreed that the responsible and rewarding method would be to ignore any marketing hype and instead follow the Best Buy recommendations by Consumer Reports. Because nobody mentioned the virtues or shortcomings of, say, Whirlpool’s executives as a valid criterion for choosing the appliance, I asked why they argue for hours about the perceived personalities of the candidates instead of comparing the track records of the major parties.”

So, that would be a no-go to listening to Republicans talk about how they are going to lower taxes for small business when in fact, they are doing no such thing but are actually voting against the President’s small business bill.

He then compared all administrations going back to 1960 and all states based on how they voted in the presidential elections since 1980. Oh, heavens, this is just brutal.

He used symbols to over come bias. Here’s Yuri’s list for voting on the economy:


Jobs: Since 1960, each of the A Party administrations has delivered higher rates of jobs creation than any of the B Party administrations.
Deficit: Since 1960, the deficit each of the A Party administrations has passed to its successor was lower than the one it inherited, while each of the B Party administrations has increased the deficit. The average yearly deficit under the B Party administrations was 277 percent higher than the average deficit under the A Party.
Productivity: The gross state product of the 20 states that voted for the A Party candidate at least 5 times out of the last 8 elections (let’s call them the A states) is 15 percent higher than the other states (the B states).
Household income: The median household income in the A states is 16 percent higher than in the B states.
Poverty: The percentage of persons below the poverty level in the A states is 21 percent lower than in the B states.
Health insurance: The percentage of people without health insurance in the A states is 25 percent lower than in the B states.

Advantage: Party A

This is probably as good of a time as any to tell you that Party A is the Democratic Party. Yuri also has this same test set up for issues regarding Family Values, which I urge all you Dead Peasants check out.

-Dead Press- Journalism that's not sold-out!

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