In Case You Come Across It


Debunked Economic Benefit Chart
Why don’t the complainers quit their job and be poor if it’s so great?

The chart above has apparently been making the rounds the past few weeks, purporting to show how a family making $3,625 a year is ultimately better off than the same family making $60,000. If you heard that and didn’t bust out laughing immediately, then I’m not sure why you’re reading my blog. In any event, for those who have a tenuous grasp on reality, Jesse Singal over at The New Republic does the hard work breaking down every aspect of this charts inaccuracy and disingenuous assertion. I can’t believe that anyone would take it seriously, but one reason Mr. Singal felt compelled to even write the piece is that plenty of news outlets took the chart at face value and reported on it. No fact-checking, no interview with its creator, Wyatt Emmerich, nothing. The jpg above, which is the same one rocketing around the internet, doesn’t even get its source correct (Emmerich doesn’t work for the Cleveland Current; he works for the Northside Sun, a local paper in Mississippi)!

This is the reason the Right Wing is so effective in its stealth propaganda efforts. This chart started as a local op-ed. It was forwarded from there to the conservative editor’s e-mail list. It then found its way into various forums, then to Sean Hannity’s web forum, then to his show. By the time it made it to Yahoo!News, it had been read by countless numbers of people. Had any of these people, let alone any of the talking heads or ‘journalists’ who saw it, actually checked the numbers or the source? Of course not. By the time it had been debunked, it had already entered the Right Wing hive-mind as truth.

Goebbels was right. If you call the president a Muslim Fascist Socialist enough times or forward a chart proving it’s better to be poor to enough people, it doesn’t matter what the truth is. And people wonder why Politifact picks on Republicans


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