Thursday, October 14, 2004

Last Night's Debate

I have to admit I didn't watch last night's debate. I'm probably the only blogger who didn't, but I had to take Tiny Princess to tumbling, and after that put the kids straight to bed for their early school morning this morning. By the time that was all done, I turned on the TV and the candidates had just finished their closing statements. I started reading the transcript, but in a 1000 square foot house containing three kids and a business, there are always better things to do.

I did, however, catch a few minutes of the debate on the radio, on the way home from tumbling. I had to turn the radio off, because I was starting to yell at Kerry on the radio and I didn't want the kids to hear what I really had wanted to say. As it turns out he was talking about the minimum wage, trying to drum up sympathy for some 9 million single mothers who would really like to be making $7 an hour. Anyone who has studied the most basic economics knows that the effect of raising the minimum wage would be to decrease the number of single mothers (and others) who can find jobs at minimum wage. If he were really concerned about single mothers, there are better ways he can help them.

This evening I read King's post at SCSU Scholars pointing me to this article which says that not even the 9 million figure is accurate-- nor are single mothers the most likely candidates to be "helped" by a minimum wage increase. Only 1.6 million people earn minimum wage, and only 11 percent of those are single heads of households.

I hate it when people pull statistics out of their butts. Some studies suggest that 84% of statistics are made up on the spot, and 42.689475% of statistics are way too accurate to be true.