What’s wrong with this picture?

Anyone else notice something wrong with this ad?

I normally go out of my way to ignore political ads, but this one caught my eye because of the “bar graph.” The first column shows the actual number of manufacturing jobs lost. The second column shows the percentage increase in manufacturing. Apples and oranges. I’m no whiz with statistics, but I know if you want to make comparisons,  you have to compare number of jobs to number of jobs or percentages to percentages.

What first caught my attention, however, was that the second column, which is supposed to demonstrate a 25% increase, obviously doubles in size! Kind of made me wonder if the amount of decrease shown in the first column was accurate. It goes down by almost half. Have we really lost 45-50% of our manufacturing jobs? Nope. FactCheck.org says we’ve lost 5% of our manufacturing jobs since January 2009.

Bad enough that most political ads distort something. But drawing a picture of the misrepresentation is just stupid. Yeah, yeah, I know: “Drawing not to scale.”



Categories: advertising, Election 2012, Politics, video content

9 replies

  1. What does he mean by China “cheating”? Our jobs have gone over there thanks to people like Romney and Bush. But I don’t understand the cheating.

    • Something to do with trade practices, tariffs, currency manipulation, etc., I assume. There was something in the news recently about Obama dealing with some aspect of it. I doubt “cheating” is the right word. Of course, “cheating” isn’t exactly what he does with his taxes either, finagling offshore and foreign investments and bank accounts, but whenever he speaks of “cheating,” that’s what I always think of.

  2. Absolutely right, PT. This ad is more blatant than most arithmetical misrepresentations. The more usual tactic is to distort trends by talking about a large percentage change in something without revealing the actual numbers. I suppose we have reached the point given the level of mathematical education in the country where the flavor overrides the substance. If the Democrats have regressed to this level, I haven’t seen it. 🙄

  3. The sad thing is, people actually buy this stuff. they are gullible enough to believe the surface message and ask no questions. Makes me furious and want to stand on some soapbox like Joan of Arc and rant…

“I cannot be an optimist but I am a prisoner of hope.” ~ Cornel West

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