"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Irrational Exuberance 

Some people think the glass is half empty, some think it's half full. Personally, I just think the glass is just too damned big. But then there are those who think, apparently, that the glass exists in 19 linear dimensions - and they are reporters published in the business section of my local paper:
Seattle-area workers fared well last year, earning more on average than the typical U.S. worker but less than those in New York City and San Francisco, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday.

Overall, workers in the Seattle metro area commanded a 5 percent premium over the national standard, the bureau, a division of the U.S. Labor Department, found.

Okay, that sounds good. But then read on, a couple of paragraphs farther down, and you'll find this:
The average Seattle household has 25 percent more in expenses than the average U.S. household -- or $52,843 a year versus $42,166, according to separate 2003-04 data from the bureau.

So let me get this straight - Seattle workers make 5% more than the national standard, but their cost of living is 25% higher. And so the author concludes that "Seattle-area workers fared well." Good Lord - let's hope that Seattle-area workers never fare badly!




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