Thursday, May 19, 2005

Donald Luskin on Robert Wexler, Social Security, and the Media on NRO Financial

I'm a regular reader of Mr. Luskin (hence the link to his blog on the right.), and he makes a very importnat point.

The Democrats misconception of the $60,000 average earner is flat out wrong and gives credence to Joel Best's assertions of innumeracy of the general public. (Both books are worth reading and both a very readable. Even for stat-ophobes.)

What the Democrats have done is mistake avergae income of those currently working with the average lifetime yearly income of workers.

Average lifetime yearly income is the 35 best years. To get to $60,000, a worker could have worked for $60,000 in each if his best 35 years. Is that you?

I doubt it. My top years include the first job out of college. Heck it still includes the years I flipped burgers and delivered pizzas as a teenager! And this is the point.

Even if I earn $60,000 now, those much lower years will pull down that number when averaged with those much lower teenage years!

My question is whether the Democrats and their staffs of privileged Ivy leaguers know this and intentionally lie or whether the capability of reading lots of dry text (read: law cases) does not correlate well with mathematical knowledge (innumeracy.)

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