Posts tagged ‘PERCENT’

How To Achieve A Titillating Headline

Glenn Reynolds linked this titillating headline:


Of course, when you read the article (of course I clicked through, I have no pride),  you find that:

  • The sample size is approximately 40
  • The sample was from a group of people who self-selected to attend a seminar by the owner of a sex-toy business

The "3% who participated in bestiality" is actually 1 person out of 40 who have a self-selected interest in pushing sexual boundaries.  With a little larger sample size, a bit poorer math, and a bit more work goal-seeking to a desired outcome, this might almost meet the standards of climate research.

Which is all a relief to me -- after 30+ years of being a Yale hater, I was afraid I might have to admit it was a more interesting place than I thought.

Facts vs. the Narrative

The narrative is that small business credit markets are frozen.  John Stossel argues the facts say otherwise?

More melodramatic prose from today's Washington Post: "White House moves to free up lending for small businesses."  "Unfreeze the markets." "Free up lending." Given such language, I would think that loans to small businesses have stopped. The market must be broken, right?

... lending to [small] companies has fallen. Federal data show that lending to small businesses by community banks declined by about $8 billion, or 2 percent, between September 2008 and September 2009.

A decline of two percent. TWO PERCENT. That constitutes a credit "freeze"? Considering the rash of bank failures from 2008 - 2009 due in large part to bad loans made by banks, a decline of two percent in loans to small businesses strikes me as a prudent response.

So does our science-based President address the narrative or the facts?  Here is a hint:  narratives can affect elections, while facts are often ignored.  Therefore, Obama is proposing to use $30 billion of TARP money to so something about the $8 billion drop in small business lending.