Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Labeling Matters

This is what drives me nuts about right wing talking points. I'm going to quote the redoubtable WAMK, who is echoing a (presumably right-wing) radio personality in El Paso.

...one of the local radio guys was talking about taxes on California businesses, and the mass exodus of residents from the State.
Italics mine, of course. The radio guy's point was prefaced on this exodus of people moving from Calfornia. They're being driven out by high taxes! It's a difficult point to argue because unless you interview all those people leaving the State, how do you prove they left because of taxes? But you'd be missing a more important point, which is what does a "mass exodus" look like exactly?

This, apparently.

Of course, this only goes up to 2009 and in fact population growth is slowing.
Between July 2009 and July 2010, there were 72,000 more people who left California for other states than came here. Those losses were outweighed, however, by people coming from other countries - both legally and illegally - and by births in the state. Overall, the California population increased by about 350,000 in the past year, with 81 percent of that growth new births.

Demographers studying population trends in California say the state will not return to the days when large numbers of people move here from other states and said that policy makers have yet to adjust to that. They point to the cost of housing, along with the state's 12.4 percent unemployment rate, as factors contributing to the change.
When you consider what housing costs in this place, it's amazing the millionaires can find locals to make their iced tea for them. So there is a point to be made about the State's shaky economy driving people away, but to call growth a mass exodus is just plain lying. And who lies while they're arguing? People who don't believe their own arguments.

ADDENDUM - I don't want WAMK to think I'm accusing him of lying, because I sincerely am not. I'm accusing him of taking the word of radio talk show hosts without questioning it. If you're the kind of person who worries about media bias, this is the worst kind of trust.

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