Statistics abuse

The conclusion this meme would like you to draw is that higher taxes on the rich is good for both job growth and a state’s budget.

This meme has several things wrong with it:

  1. Are Kansas and California’s economies similar enough for a comparison to be valid?
  2. How do we verify the statistics, what period are we talking about?
  3. The meme admits that California hasn’t had a budget surplus the previous year or the one before that – were the taxes on the rich lower than in Kansas those years and that was the reason?
  4. “Job growth” is a relative value. The 5th higher job growth in the nation is impressive if it is sustained, but unimpressive if California grew from 15% unemployment to 14% unemployment, and Kansas stayed constant at 5% unemployment.

Also, what is the definition of “the rich”? Top 10% of earners (probably a lot richer in California)? Earners above x$ a year (probably a lot more of them in California)?

h/t David Preston

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8 thoughts on “Statistics abuse

  1. Kansas’s unemployment rate is far lower than California’s. And anyone can claim a budget surplus if they lie about their expenses (“Yes, I bought that new Corvette. But I did it with a home equity loan, so it didn’t cost us anything!”)

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