Daniel Hannan on stats and cover stories:
“The rich are richer and the poor are poorer,” says the left-of-centre British newspaper, The Independent, on its front page. That phrase is so common, so facile, so glib, that it is almost a truism. Except that it’s not true… On almost every measure of absolute wealth, the poor are getting richer. Because this fact seems counterintuitive, some people scrabble around for data that seem to contradict it. The Independent’s rather tendentious use of savings as its main measure of wealth is typical… The same partiality explains why leftists clutch so determinedly at their bizarre definition of poverty as having a household income less than 60 per cent of the mean – a measure which gives Britain a greater rate of poverty than Bangladesh.
And Natalie Solent on minimum wage laws and the subsequent, inevitable, dancing around the obvious:
I came across this article asking “Why are so many Seattle restaurants closing lately?” The writer, Sara Jones, goes through the possible answers to this question at some length. Ownership changes. “Concept switches,” whatever they might be. Premises too big. Ingredients too pricey. Menus too esoteric. Too loud. Too quiet. Managers who do too much. Managers who do too little. Many and various are the potentialities diligently listed by Ms Jones. It is a little hard to see why a plague of Managers Doing Too Much should suddenly descend on so many of Seattle’s eateries all at once, though. Could there be something else behind it, some really strange and frightening phenomenon whose name no one in Seattle dare speak? […] In fairness to the author, she does discuss the effect of the minimum wage hike eventually, after having exhausted all other options. She’s doing better than many.
As Anthony Anton of the Washington Restaurant Association puts it, “It’s not a political problem; it’s a math problem.” And I was rather taken by this comment here, spotted by Sam Duncan and offered in reply to a typically pious and self-flattering leftist:
No you don’t get to get away with that. You don’t get to advocate policies [i.e., higher minimum wage laws] which allow you to use force to deprive people of their jobs and their opportunities, and then claim that those who would have provided the jobs are the heartless ones. You don’t get to trot out the insipid, mindless, tendentious talking points about how you are morally or intellectually superior when every “solution” you proffer is destructive and is based upon forcing others to do your bidding. You don’t get to decide whose job is worth preserving and whose isn’t and still claim the moral high ground.
As yet the leftist in question has not seen fit to respond. Feel free to share your own links and snippets in the comments below.