Misleading Comparison

The comparison is invalid for several reasons:

  1. The pictures were probably selected to show the worst of Detroit vs. the best of Israel. The area of Israel shown, North Tel Aviv, is probably the richest. It is a primarily residential and commercial area, as opposed to the industrial area shown in Detroit.
  2. US Aid to Israel is overwhelmingly (> 99%) military aid – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_foreign_aid#Recipients . This aid is in the form of coupons to be spent on US military equipment. So partially this is a way to funnel money to US defense contractors and prevent a potential competitor from arising. The true market cost of these goods is probably lower than 3 billion if Israel wasn’t limited to specific providers.
  3. The US government did provide money to companies based in Detroit (http://theweek.com/article/index/253892/the-us-auto-bailout-is-officially-over-heres-what-america-lost-and-gained). It just didn’t help the city for some reason.

h/t Joseph Capdepon II.

Note: You can make a good case that Israel is a grownup country and should pay for its own defense (which is mostly does by a 6:1 margin, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures ). But that is a different matter than comparing it to Detroit.

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One thought on “Misleading Comparison

  1. This bird-brained meme took me all of about 1 minute to debunk.

    The Claim: Israel receives $3 billion per annum in aid from the U.S. government, while the city of Detroit receives $0. Which, by inference, is a damned shame and a bad reflection on our national priorities.

    The Reality: OK, yes, Israel does receive about $3 billion dollars in US foreign aid annually. But if we consider as “aid” all US government investment in infrastructure projects, social welfare funding, and research institutions, then annual aid to Detroit is definitely not $0. In fact, federal aid to Detroit has ranged between $500 million and $1.2 annually between 1985 and 2005. If that trend continued through 2014, then Detroit’s current federal aid would currently be well over $1 billion per annum. And yet for all the dough, Detroit is still a burned-out shell of a city. It’s not even a country, like Israel. Which is a relatively productive country, as countries go.

    So how did I get the numbers on aid to Detroit? EZ-PZ. I just googled on “federal investment in Detroit,” which turned up this concise scholarly document in the top five results:

    http://graham.umich.edu/media/files/DetroitSustainabilityChenMin_5.24.12.pdf

    I wonder . . . How intellectually lazy do you have to be to accept such outrageous claims of fact at face value? And how mendacious do you have to be to MAKE such claims? Keep pitching me softballs, liberals. I’ve got another yoga session in ten minutes.

    –David

    Liked by 1 person

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