Scientific Survey Shows Voters Across the Political Spectrum Are Ideologically Deluded

Reposted from JUST FACTS

By James D. Agresti
April 16, 2021

During the late 1800s when the renowned scientist Louis Pasteur was trying to overturn the medical community’s deadly belief that germs are not communicable, he wrote: “The greatest aberration of the mind is to believe a thing to be, because we desire it.” The results of a scientific survey conducted just after the 2020 presidential election show that voters from across the political spectrum have failed to heed that warning.

The survey, commissioned by Just Facts, reveals that the vast bulk of voters have embraced false and harmful dogmas that accord with their political views. This is a typical consequence of confirmation bias, the human tendency to reflexively accept anything that accords with one’s preexisting beliefs and ignore or twist everything that defies them.

While most polls measure public opinion, this annual scientific survey measures voters’ perceptions of issues that can have major impacts on their lives. This year’s survey used an entirely new set of questions that addressed the topics of Covid-19, income, poverty, racial disparities, global warming, drug overdoses, life expectancy, pollution, and the national debt.

Some illuminating examples of the misconceptions held by voters with differing political preferences include the following:

  • 76% of Trump voters think that the average income of middle-income households fell during the Obama administration. In reality, their inflation-adjusted average income rose by $5,300 during this period.
  • 88% of Biden voters think that police are more likely to use lethal force when arresting black people than white people. In reality, police are 42% less likely to use lethal force when arresting blacks than whites.

The survey also found that a considerable portion of Trump voters have adopted some progressive fallacies spread by the media. For instance, 38% of Trump voters (and 86% of Biden voters) think that the number of strong-to-violent tornadoes in the U.S. has generally increased since the 1950s. In reality, they have slightly decreased.

That disconnect between fact and perception accords with numerous reports that link tornadoes and other extreme weather events to global warming, even though such events have occurred at a roughly level pace for as far back in time as reliable data extends. This suggests that progressive powerhouses like media titans, big tech corporations, and educational institutions have enough reach and influence to mislead large numbers of people who are ideologically opposed to falsehoods they propagate.

The survey was comprised of 21 questions posed to U.S. residents who regularly vote. It was conducted just after the 2020 presidential election by TritonPolling & Research, an academic research firm that applied scientific survey methods to optimize accuracy.

Results for All Voters

For each question, voters were offered a selection of two or more answers, one of which was true. Voters also had the opportunity to say they were unsure.

On average, voters gave the correct answer 38% of the time, gave an incorrect answer 51% of the time, and said they were unsure 10% of the time.

A majority of voters gave the correct answer to only 4 of the 21 questions.

Results by Ideology of Falsehood

Among questions in which the wrong answers accorded with partisan agendas, an average of 57% of answers were liberally misinformed, while 28% were conservatively misinformed. In other words, voters were twice as likely to believe certain progressive myths than conservative ones.

For all 10 of the questions in which the electorate was most deluded, the wrong answers they gave concurred with progressive narratives propagated by the media. Moreover, the false answers they gave were often far removed from reality, not just slightly mistaken. For example, 66% of voters thought that doubling the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour would raise the average income of families in poverty by 25% or more. The real figure is about 1%.

Results by Politics, Age, and Gender

The survey also recorded voters’ ages, genders, and who they voted for in the presidential election. This allows the survey to pinpoint the segments of society that are most and least informed about specific issues. The sample size of third-party voters were too small to produce meaningful data.

The results show deep partisan and demographic divides, with different groups being more or less knowledgeable depending upon the questions.

On average, the rates at which voters gave false answers varied from 61% for Biden voters to 42% for Trump voters. From worst to best, the false answer rates for the various groups are as follows:

  • 61% for Biden voters
  • 56% for 18- to 34-year olds
  • 53% for females
  • 51% for 35- to 64-year olds
  • 51% for 65+ year olds
  • 49% for males
  • 42% for Trump voters

All of the questions, the correct answers, and the full survey results and methodologies are detailed below. The survey was conducted on November 4–11, 2020.


Covid-19

Question 1: The first known Covid-19 death in the U.S. occurred in early February of this year (2020). Since then, what portion of all deaths in the U.S. do you think have involved Covid-19? About 1%, 10%, or 50%?

Correct Answer: About 10%

From early February 2020 to when the survey was conducted in early November 2020, the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics recorded 241,129 deaths involving C-19 and 2,449,346 deaths from all causes. This means that 10% of deaths involved Covid-19. By mid-March 2021, the figure had risen to 15%.

Fatal interactions between Covid-19 and other ailments like heart disease and diabetes make it difficult to determine the exact death toll from C-19. A range of evidence suggests that the CDC’s tally of C-19 deaths may be modestly inflated but still provides a reasonable measure of the pandemic’s severity.

Correct answer given by 32% of all voters, 36% of Biden voters, and 27% of Trump voters.


Question 2: In your estimate, what portion of people who catch Covid-19 and are aged 70 and above survive from it? About half, about 75%, or about 95%?

Correct Answer: About 95%

In September 2020, the CDC published age-specific estimates for Covid-19 infection fatality rates, or the “number of individuals who die of Covid-19 among all infected individuals (symptomatic and asymptomatic).” The best estimate for this figure among people aged 70+ was 5.4%, which equates to a survival rate of 95%.

That rate was confirmed a month later by a study in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseaseswhich found that Danes aged 70 and above had a C-19 infection fatality rate of 5.4%. The study also found that only half of elderly blood donors in Denmark who had antibodies for C-19 “reported having been sick since the start of the pandemic.” This indicates that the C-19 asymptomatic rate for elderly blood donors—who are typically healthy—is about 50%.

Furthermore, an August 2020 paper in the journal Cell found that the number of people who have had C-19 is “probably significantly higher than antibody tests have suggested.” This means that the asymptomatic rate for healthy elderly people is even greater than 50%.

The World Health Organization and many media outlets have published figures for C-19 death rates that were based only on reported infections. Given high numbers of asymptomatic and other unreported cases, those figures grossly undercount the number of people who have had C-19 and make the death rate seem much worse than reality.

Correct answer given by 27% of all voters, 15% of Biden voters, and 40% of Trump voters.


Question 3: Do you think Covid-19 is more or less contagious than the seasonal flu?

Correct Answer: More

meta-analysis of 12 studies that assessed the contagiousness of Covid-19 in different nations found that its basic reproduction number (the primary measure of contagiousness) “ranged from 1.4 to 6.49,” with an average of 3.28 and a median of 2.79.

In comparison, a 2014 paper in the journal BMC Infectious Diseases analyzed 24 studies of the seasonal flu and found that the median result for its basic reproduction number was 1.28. The authors stressed that the seemingly small difference between 1.28 and higher figures like 1.80 “represent the difference between epidemics that are controllable and cause moderate illness and those causing a significant number of illnesses and requiring intensive mitigation strategies to control.”

On March 3, 2020—two weeks after the above meta-analysis was published—the Director-General of the World Health Organization gave a press conference in which he stated that “Covid-19 spreads less efficiently than flu.” In spite of this and other misinformation spread by the World Health Organization, Google/YouTube adopted a policy of censoring people who post content “that contradicts the World Health Organization (WHO) or local health authorities’ medical information about Covid-19.”

Correct answer given by 69% of all voters, 91% of Biden voters, and 46% of Trump voters.


Question 4: In which of the following states do you think the greatest portion of the population has died from Covid-19? Florida, New Jersey, or Texas?

Correct Answer: New Jersey

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the states with the highest portions of their populations killed by C-19 have been New York and New Jersey.

Nonetheless, many media outlets have showered praise on the governors of those states for their handling of the pandemic while vilifying the governors of states with significantly better outcomes like Florida and Texas:

Portion of Population Killed by Covid-19

Beyond the political implications of misinforming large portions of the electorate, such journalism can draw attention away from serious problems and lead people to false conclusions about how best to protect their health and lives.

Correct answer given by 39% of all voters, 27% of Biden voters, and 53% of Trump voters.


Income, Wealth & Poverty

Question 5: Now, changing the subject from Covid-19 to people’s incomes, do you think that middle-income people in the U.S. have a higher or lower average standard of living than middle-income people in other wealthy nations like Britain, Canada, and Sweden?

Correct Answer: Higher

According to the latest complete data (2010), middle-income people in the U.S. have a higher standard of living than every other nation in the world. This is measured by their consumption of goods and services, the “preferred welfare indicator” of the World Bank.

Importantly, this measure accounts for all private, government, and nonprofit goods and services. Also, it is adjusted for purchasing power to measure tangible realities like square feet of living area, healthcare services, smartphones, etc. Thus, an apple in one nation is counted the same as an apple in another.

Contrary to a popular New York Times video that called the USA the world’s “poorest” developed nation, even the poorest 20% of U.S. residents consume more goods and services than the national averages for all people in most affluent nations. This includes the majority of countries in the prestigious Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, such as Denmark, Japan, Portugal, and New Zealand.

Correct answer given by 45% of all voters, 27% of Biden voters, and 67% of Trump voters.


Question 6: If the federal government doubled the minimum wage, how much do you think this would increase the average income of families below the poverty line? About 1%, about 25%, or about 50%?

Correct Answer: About 1%

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that doubling the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15.00 an hour would raise the average income of families below the poverty line by $589 per year. This is roughly 1% of their total income.

Some of the primary reasons why the increase is so low are as follows:

  • The vast bulk of people in poverty work very little or not at all. In 2018, only 27% of adults in poverty were in the labor force for at least half of the year. This includes part-time workers and those who were simply looking for work.
  • The Congressional Budget Office estimates that doubling the minimum wage would destroy about 1.4 million jobs, and many of these would be lost by poor people. This is because “when the cost of employing low-wage workers goes up,” some employers will replace them with machinery, technology, and higher-wage workers.
  • The total income of households in poverty is several times greater than commonly reported. The poverty/income statistics widely used by governments and media outlets exclude many goods and services that poor people receive from governments and charities, like free health insurance, Food Stamps, housing, utilities, preschool, college, and cell phones.

Correct answer given by 21% of all voters, 8% of Biden voters, and 37% of Trump voters.


Question 7: In your view, did the average income of middle-income households rise or fall during the Obama administration?

Correct Answer: Rise

During the Obama administration, the average income of middle-income households rose from $71,900 in 2009 to $77,200 in 2016, or by $5,300. These figures, which come from Congressional Budget Office data, are adjusted for inflation and include all income sources such as wages, salaries, capital gains, rental income, and untaxed government and employer-provided benefits like food stamps and health insurance.

Association does not prove causation, so this rise in income cannot be objectively credited to Obama. However, Republicans routinely criticized the economy during the period of Obama’s tenure when incomes rose.

Politicians, media outlets, and scholars often quote incomplete measures of income that give false impressions about income trends and inequality.

Correct answer given by 45% of all voters, 79% of Biden voters, and 9% of Trump voters.


Question 8: On average, do you think that men and women in the U.S. earn equal pay for equal work?

Correct Answer: Yes

On average, full-time, year-round female workers earn about 23% less cash wages than males, but when the following six factors relating to equal work and pay are taken into account, the gap evaporates:

  1. Full-time male workers average 8% more workdays per year and 8% more workhours per workday than full-time female workers.
  2. Men are more likely to pursue technically demanding and higher-paying careers, such as computer science, finance, and engineering.
  3. Women are more apt to take jobs that offer higher fringe benefits in exchange for less cash wages.
  4. Women are more likely to temporarily leave their careers to raise a family, resulting in less work experience and continuity.
  5. Women are more apt to choose jobs with shorter commutes over those with higher pay.
  6. More than 28% of U.S. workers are in physically challenging occupations (like construction), and most men have considerably more muscular strength than most women.

Media outlets repeatedly ignore those facts and misportray the gender earnings gap as “unequal pay” for “equal work.” This stokes hostility, slanders employers, and cultivates victim mentalities that prevent people from reaching their potential.

Correct answer given by 27% of all voters, 5% of Biden voters, and 53% of Trump voters.


Racial Issues

Question 9: What portion of all murder victims in the U.S. do you think are comprised of the 13% of the population that is black? About 10%, about 25%, or about 50%?

Correct Answer: About 50%

Roughly 53% of all murder victims in the U.S. are black, even though black people comprise about 13% of the U.S. population.

Contrary to the media’s focus on interracial violence, roughly 11% of all murders in the U.S. are interracial. The other 89% involve people of the same races slaying one another.

Correct answer given by 34% of all voters, 28% of Biden voters, and 42% of Trump voters.


Question 10: In your view, are police more likely to use lethal force when arresting black people than white people?

Correct Answer: Less

Consistent with a 2018 study published in an academic journal, a 2016 study of arrest data by the left-leaning Center for Policing Equity found that police are 42% less likely to use lethal force when arresting black people than when arresting whites.

However, the authors of the study buried this data on the 20th page of their report and did not mention it in their summary or conclusion. The Washington Post then cited the study as proof of police brutality towards blacks.

Contrary to media storylines that exploit anecdoteshalf-truths, and outright falsehoods, black and white people are typically arrestedprosecuted, and sentenced at rates that accord with the frequency and severity of their criminality. A notable exception to this is murder because blacks are much more likely to get away with this crime than whites. This harms black communities because the killers remain free to commit more carnage.

Correct answer given by 39% of all voters, 7% of Biden voters, and 77% of Trump voters.


Question 11: Which of the following racial/ethnic groups do you think is least likely to be pulled over by police for a traffic stop? Black, Hispanic, or white?

Correct Answer: Hispanic

In 2015 (latest data), 7.6% of all Hispanic drivers were pulled over in a traffic stop, as compared to 8.6% of all white drivers, and 9.8% of all black drivers.

While ignoring the fact that Hispanics are pulled over at the lowest rate, many media outlets and activists have cited the higher traffic stop rate of black people as proof of police discrimination. However, such statistics don’t account for the rates that people of different races engage in behaviors that lead to traffic stops, such as speeding or driving with an expired license plate.

For example, a study published by an academic journal in 2007 found that black drivers on the New Jersey Turnpike were more likely to be pulled over, but “police stop rates matched very closely the rates at which drivers exceeded the speed limit by 15 mph.”

Correct answer given by 3% of all voters, 1% of Biden voters, and 5% of Trump voters.


Question 12: Would you say that school districts with high concentrations of minorities and poor children generally receive less funding per student than other districts?

Correct Answer: No.

A broad range of credible studies have found that school districts with higher portions of minority students spend about the same amount per student as districts with smaller portions of minorities. This includes studies conducted by the U.S. Department ofEducation (1996), Ph.D. economist Derek Neal (2006), the left-leaning Urban Institute (2008), the conservative Heritage Foundation (2011), the Brookings Institution (2017), and the academic journal Education Next (2017).

The Urban Institute study—which looks the furthest back in time—found that “differences in spending per pupil in districts serving nonwhite and white students are very small” since at least 1972.

Media outlets and politicians often allege that schools with high portion of minorities receive less funding per student, but such claims are rooted in studies that exclude federal education funding, which flows overwhelmingly to schools in low-income areas. The authors of such studies commonly bury this fact in their reports, thus misleading people who don’t carefully read them and giving cover to those who deliberately misrepresent them.

Correct answer given by 32% of all voters, 11% of Biden voters, and 54% of Trump voters.


Global Warming

Question 13: Moving to the issue of global warming, would you say that the earth’s average sea level has risen since the 1990s?

Correct Answer: Yes

Since late 1992, instruments on satellites have been collecting data that scientists use to calculate the average global sea level. These datasets show that the average global sea level increased by 2.0 inches between the 1990s and 2010s.

That finding is confirmed by data from local tide gauges, which measure the level of the sea relative to reference points on land. These show that the average global sea level has been generally rising since 1860 or earlier.

Correct answer given by 72% of all voters, 96% of Biden voters, and 45% of Trump voters.


Question 14: Again, thinking about the whole planet, do you think the total amount of land area on earth has declined since the 1980s?

Correct Answer: No

A study of satellite data published by the journal Nature Climate Changein 2016 found that from 1985 to 2015, the net amount of land area on Earth grew by about 22,400 square miles. The study also found that the net amount of coastal land area on Earth grew by about 5,200 square miles.

Although the average global sea level has been rising, manmade and natural factors have led to a net gain in land area since 1985 or earlier. As one of the study’s coauthors stated, “We expected that the coast would start to retreat due to sea level rise, but the most surprising thing is that the coasts are growing all over the world.”

Correct answer given by 27% of all voters, 7% of Biden voters, and 49% of Trump voters.


Question 15: Do you think that the average level of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere has risen since the Industrial Revolution in the late 1700?

Correct Answer: Yes

Since the outset of the Industrial Revolution in the late 1700s, the average level of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere has grown from 0.028% to 0.041%, or by about 47%.

Correct answer given by 86% of all voters, 96% of Biden voters, and 76% of Trump voters.


Question 16: Would you say that the number of strong-to-violent tornadoes in the U.S. has generally increased since the 1950s?

Correct Answer: No

Since the 1950s—as far back in time as data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration extends—the frequency of strong-to-violent tornadoes has slightly declined.

Some have claimed that tornados have become more common due to global warming, but as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration explains, this is an artifact of “increased National Doppler radar coverage, increasing population, and greater attention to tornado reporting.”

In contrast, strong-to-violent tornadoes “would have likely been reported even during the decades before Doppler radar use became widespread and practices resulted in increasing tornado reports.” Thus, they are a more accurate and salient measure of U.S. tornado trends.

Correct answer given by 26% of all voters, 4% of Biden voters, and 50% of Trump voters.


Health

Question 17: Do you believe that contact with a toxic chemical is always dangerous, no matter what the level of exposure?

Correct Answer: No

As explained in the academic book Chemical Exposure and Toxic Responses:The relationship between the dose of a toxicant and the resulting effect is the most fundamental aspect of toxicology. Many believe, incorrectly, that some agents are toxic and others are harmless. In fact, determinations of safety and hazard must always be related to dose.

Likewise, a teaching guide published by the American Society for Microbiology states:Many people are frightened by the use of synthetic chemicals on food crops because they have heard that these chemicals are “toxic” and “cancer causing,” but are all synthetic chemicals more harmful than substances people readily ingest, like coffee and soft drinks? No. For example, in a study to assess the toxicities of various compounds, half of the rats died when given 233 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight, but it took more than 10 times that amount of glyphosate (4,500 mg glyphosate/kg body weight), which is the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, to cause the same percentage of deaths as 233 mg of caffeine.

Also, substances that have low immediate toxic effects generally have low cancer-causing effects.

Just Facts adopted this question from a study published by the journal Nature Chemistry in 2019. This survey found that only 9% of adults in eight European countries knew the correct answer.

Correct answer given by 31% of all voters, 24% of Biden voters, and 37% of Trump voters.


Question 18: At the current rate of drug overdose deaths in the United States, what is the average lifetime chance of dying from a drug overdose? About 1 in 100,000, about 1 in 1,000, or about 1 in 100?

Correct Answer: About 1 in 100

More than 70,000 people were killed by drug overdoses in 2019. If this rate continues, one in every 59 people currently alive in the U.S. will eventually die of a drug overdose.

Drug overdoses rob an average of about 38 years of life from each victim, and 88% of these deaths are unintentional.

Since 1999, drug overdose death rates in the U.S. have risen by 3.5 times. This occurred while policies that were supposed to decrease these deaths were broadly enacted, such as legalizing marijuana and Obamacare’s mandate that health plans cover treatments for substance abuse.

Correct answer given by 21% of all voters, 21% of Biden voters, and 20% of Trump voters.


Question 19: Do you think average life expectancy in the U.S. rose or fell in the five years following the implementation of Obamacare?

Correct Answer: Fell

In the five years after most provisions of Obamacare were implemented in 2014, average U.S. life expectancy fell by 0.1 years. This is the largest five-year decline since World War II and runs contrary to the modern norm of rising lifespans, which increased by an average of 0.8 years every five years from 1960 to 2013.

Association does not prove causation, so this decline cannot be objectively blamed on Obamacare. However, supporters of the law routinely used such associations to promote Obamacare and to impugn the U.S. healthcare system. They also claimed that Obamacare would be “an absolute game changer” for substance abuse, but drug overdose deaths accelerated in the wake of the law.

Correct answer given by 23% of all voters, 15% of Biden voters, and 35% of Trump voters.


National Debt

Question 20: Changing the topic from physical health to economic health, do you believe there’s ever been a time in the history of the United States when the national debt was a larger portion of the nation’s economy than it is now?

Correct Answer: No

In May 2020, the U.S. national debt hit 120% of the nation’s annual economic output, breaking a record set in 1946 for the highest level in the history of the United States. The previous extreme of 118% stemmed from World War II, the deadliest and most widespread conflict in world history.

The national debt has since continued to grow and is currently 134% of annual U.S. economic output. This is 4.3 times its average level over U.S. history.

Economists and government agencies often measure government debt as a portion of annual economic output. This accounts for population growth, some effects of inflation, and the relative capacity of governments to service their debts. However, government agencies and media outlets often exclude a major portion of the national debt when reporting on it, and this can mislead people to believe that today’s debt is not the highest it has ever been in the nation’s history.

Correct answer given by 60% of all voters, 68% of Biden voters, and 55% of Trump voters.


Question 21: Since the 1960s, what do you think has been the main cause of rising national debt? Military spending, social programs, or tax cuts?

Correct Answer: Social programs

Media outlets frequently blame the rising national debt on tax cuts and military spending, but federal tax revenues have stayed at a roughly level portion of the U.S. economy for the past 80 years, and military spending has plummeted from 55% of all federal expenses in 1959 to 18% in 2019.

In reality, the primary driver of the national debt is social programs—which have grown from 20% of all federal spending in 1959 to 62% in 2019. Social programs are those that provide healthcare, income security, education, nutrition, housing, and cultural services.

Comprehensive data on federal social spending is not yet available for 2020, but in 2020 and early 2021, federal politicians enacted six “Covid relief” laws that will spend about $5.3 trillion over the course of a decade, mainly on social programs. This is more than the entire federal budget in 2019.

Correct answer given by 39% of all voters, 10% of Biden voters, and 74% of Trump voters.


Methodology and Full Results

The survey was conducted by Triton Polling & Research, an academic research firm that serves scholars, corporations, and political campaigns. The responses were obtained through live telephone surveys of 1,000 likely voters across the U.S. during November 4–11, 2020. This sample size is large enough to accurately represent the U.S. population. Likely voters are people who say they vote “every time there is an opportunity” or in “most” elections.

The margin of sampling error for all respondents is ±3% with at least 95% confidence. The margins of error for the subsets are 5% for Biden voters, 5% for Trump voters, 4% for males, 5% for females, 9% for 18 to 34 year olds, 4% for 35 to 64 year olds, and 5% for 65+ year olds.

The survey results presented in this article are slightly weighted to match the ages and genders of likely voters. The political parties and geographic locations of the survey respondents almost precisely match the population of likely voters. Thus, there is no need for weighting based upon these variables. The complete weighted and unweighted results are available here:

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n.n
April 16, 2021 10:12 pm

Results by politics, age, and sex: male and female. Gender (i.e. sex-correlated attributes including sexual orientation): masculine and feminine, respectively, too? Perhaps gender identity. Transgender (i.e. state or process of divergence from normal)? And diversity class (e.g. people of white, Fetal-American).

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  n.n
April 17, 2021 9:04 am

For a poll supposedly based on facts, they can’t seem to figure out the difference between sex and gender.

Joel O’Bryan
April 16, 2021 11:33 pm

The author of this piece demonstrated clever mendacity with his first assertion:

  • ”76% of Trump voters think that the average income of middle-income households fell during the Obama administration. In reality, their inflation-adjusted average income rose by $5,300 during this period.”

A huge issue in the 2012 presidential race (Obama v. Romney) was the real fall in median and average US middle class incomes 2009-2012. Many remember that talking point. What happened 2013-2017 was a small % rise in average income, but the real story was inflation went to zero due to a dramatic fall in oil and gas prices which Obama had nothing to do with.

But the author here does a bait and switch on his question and answer. His question said nothing about “inflation adjusted” average income, yet his answer was “ inflation adjusted average income rose….” Those are two different things. He answered a different question than the one he posed.
This issue of what happened is explained here in this MarketWatch article during that Obama second term.
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/has-worker-pay-really-risen-the-most-under-obama-2016-12-15

another minor point is the hyperlink under “this period.” takes one’s browser to an irrelevant biden inaugeration schedule.

once I figured out the mendacity at play by the writer in that first assertion, the rest was suspect and not worth my time to find further distortions of fact using cleverly disguised halftruths.

M Courtney
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
April 17, 2021 12:19 am

There’s a similar trick on the middle income comparison around the world. It looks at buying power instead of free income.
The US has a terrible healthcare funding system that costs the individual far more than in the developed world generally. That spending is counted as buying power in the USA but is actually constrained.

commieBob
Reply to  M Courtney
April 17, 2021 3:53 am

Health care is a big deal but it’s complicated. If you’ve got a decent job in the United States, your employer pays for your health care. So, among the beneficiaries of government health care in Canada are actually large companies. They have to spend less on employee health care in Canada than they would in the ‘States.

One difference between Americans and Canadians is that stuff is significantly cheaper south of the border.

I’m not actually complaining. I have the choice and I’m staying north of the border.

Scissor
Reply to  commieBob
April 17, 2021 7:03 am

Sounds fun.

Ford also ordered the immediate closure of recreational amenities, including playgrounds, tennis courts, golf courses, basketball courts, and soccer and baseball fields.”

commieBob
Reply to  Scissor
April 17, 2021 7:24 am

Yeah, well I don’t demand a utopia with perfect politicians like the left thinks it can get. I’ll just settle for some habitable order.

Drake
Reply to  commieBob
April 17, 2021 8:17 am

Know of a case where a man with serious heart issues flew from Canada to Las Vegas, laid down on a casino floor, was taken to the E room, and immediately has bypass surgery due to his extreme condition.

He was on a waiting list in Canada.

Have heard of other similar cases. Canada health does not pay a fair amount for the surgery, if they pay at all.

Of course anecdotal.

commieBob
Reply to  Drake
April 17, 2021 8:38 am

If you have enough anecdotes it becomes data.

Nobody denies that better health care is available in the ‘States, for those who can afford it. I have a number of friends who have gone down to places like the Mayo Clinic for treatment.

As for medical emergencies while abroad … the provincial governments will pay the same as what they would pay for treatment in Canada. That can leave the patient on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars. If you leave Canada at all, it’s a really good idea to have travel insurance.

Larry in Texas
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
April 17, 2021 1:41 am

I generally agree with you, Joel, but I want to read the CBO data first, to see what “inflation adjustment” measures CBO actually used. The fact is that the current government CPI commonly used in policy analysis does NOT include price measures for food and energy – the two most important things all of us need and use. The CPI used by my pension fund, like Social Security, uses this incomplete and misleading CPI in determining cost-of-living increases for my pension. It never keeps up with what is happening with a steady erosion in purchasing power. This is the point the author of this piece misses out on.

There is a reason there has been discussion about real income falling since around 1970, until during the Trump administration when real income actually rose a bit (I emphasize “a bit,” because there is a long way to go to make real income a consistent thing again, and because the shutdown caused by fool politicians has probably screwed that up big time now).

Reply to  Larry in Texas
April 17, 2021 7:05 am

CBO uses PCE, not CPI. Furthermore, it is untrue that “the current government CPI commonly used in policy analysis does NOT include price measures for food and energy.” As documented by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

“Finally, it must again be emphasized strongly that none of the prominent legislated uses of the CPI excludes food or energy: each year, Social Security and Federal retirement benefits are updated for inflation by the all-items CPI-W. Individual income tax parameters and TIPS returns are indexed by the all-items CPI-U.” https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2008/08/art1full.pdf

George Tetley
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
April 17, 2021 3:02 am

Chit Not News

commieBob
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
April 17, 2021 3:45 am

There is mendacity and then there is merely being wrong.

Given that there were some answers that would cause strong disagreement from people on the right, and some answers that would cause strong disagreement from voters on the left, I would say the authors were trying to be as accurate as they could be.

This study adds to a pile of evidence that left wing people are more likely to react unfavorably to evidence that contradicts their political views. There is this widely reported study that shows that Democrats are much more likely to unfriend those with different political views. In other words, they can’t stand hearing stuff that contradicts their entrenched opinions.

2hotel9
Reply to  commieBob
April 17, 2021 6:13 am

Been unfriended by many Democrats I have known over the years simply for pointing out facts they could check for themselves, well be for farcebook existed.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  commieBob
April 17, 2021 8:17 am

That’s to be expected since the left’s political views are based primarily on emotion (i.e., beliefs) or virtue signaling and, no one wants their beliefs questioned or to be accused of not caring. Conservatives’ positions tend to be more rational and thus more open to discussion.

Doonman
Reply to  commieBob
April 17, 2021 11:03 am

That’s because democrats have substituted their politics for their religion. Joe Biden doesn’t even pretend that he goes to church like the Clinton’s and the Obama’s did. That’s a major sea change for democrats, but they still won’t stop preaching.

Reply to  commieBob
April 17, 2021 12:37 pm

I noticed this about my own family “This study adds to a pile of evidence that left wing people are more likely to react unfavorably to evidence that contradicts their political views. There is this widely reported study that shows that Democrats are much more likely to unfriend those with different political views. In other words, they can’t stand hearing stuff that contradicts their entrenched opinions.” Facts really bother them when its contrary to their cherished feelings. I got hell from my niece who had a visceral reaction to me laying out the facts about the kids on the boarders being “ripped” from their mother’s arms. She really felt bad for the kids. I outlined the Obama built “cages” and how Trump had put a stop to it and a few other illegal alien facts–THINKING it would make her feel better to know that conservatives weren’t evil monsters tearing families apart.

I love my niece–she is compassionate and successful, but she almost had a meltdown with my response, thinking I wasn’t honoring her feelings. I wanted to make her feel better by explaining that she didn’t really understand the issue.But she never addressed or considered the facts–just had a visceral reaction and thought initially I was trying to hurt her.

I am not sure how you can help liberals that run on feelings, not facts. She is not dumb–not by a long shot. I ended up apologizing for not honoring her strong feelings. My own daughter was appalled at me trying to smooth things over. But my goal was to give my niece a better picture of a misconception that I thought was causing her unjustified grief.

This study does show that progressives are less likely to understand the underlying facts that influence their feelings. How do you help them?

2hotel9
Reply to  Shelly
April 17, 2021 3:21 pm

“honoring her feelings” That right there is the problem. Feelings are irrelevant, only facts and reality matter.

John Endicott
Reply to  2hotel9
April 19, 2021 5:03 am

To borrow from Ben Shapiro “Facts Don’t Care About Your Feelings”, The corollary to that is that (at least for with most lefties) their feelings don’t care about the facts. Which makes having a civilized conversation between the two difficult at best.

Jim Whelan
Reply to  John Endicott
April 19, 2021 10:18 am

Putting feelings before facts is to ignore reality and put yourself in a position to be blindsided by it. Which is why leftist positions are inevitably destructive.

It’s NOT just a difference of opinion or perspective.

Last edited 25 days ago by Jim Whelan
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
April 17, 2021 6:58 am

First and most simply, the link for “this period” leads to the inaugural dates for every U.S. president, not an “irrelevant biden inaugeration schedule”: https://www.inaugural.senate.gov/past-inaugural-ceremonies/

If you can’t read a simple webpage, it’s not surprising that you don’t understand the nuances of inflation and income. Both the CPI and the PCE, the two of most common measures of inflation, rose during the Obama administration (https://www.justfacts.com/monetarypolicy#inflation_measures). This means that nominal income rose by MORE than inflation-adjusted income.

The answer mentions inflation-adjusted income because this is a stricter and more accurate standard used by people who understand these issues. Making financial claims that fail to account for inflation, per the Journal of Accountancy, “does not deliver a message that is completely true and fair.” Likewise, the academic serial work Quantitative Investing for the Global Markets affirms that “we should be concerned not with nominal quantities [i.e., those not adjusted for inflation] but with real ones.”

The question does not mention inflation so as not to confuse average voters. Regardless of whether inflation is accounted for or not, and regardless of what measure of inflation is used, the answer is the same: the average income of middle-income households rose during the Obama administration.

observer
Reply to  James D. Agresti
April 17, 2021 3:06 pm

The average isn’t all that useful. Check out the median; it fell

https://consumersresearch.org/podcast-economy-is-growing-but-paychecks-are-not/

Jim Whelan
Reply to  observer
April 17, 2021 8:19 pm

Usefulness depends on what lie you want to tell

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
April 17, 2021 7:23 am

Nice catch. The CDC stats quoted should also raise some eyebrows: 10% of all deaths?

Anon
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
April 17, 2021 8:03 am

Yes, there is so much here that is presented as solid that in reality might not be. And to get to the root of “all deaths” you have to excluded deaths that have been mis-classified as COVID19 because of either politics or medical facilities being remunerated at a higher level for COVID cases.

Furthermore, before you adjust for inflation, you might ask yourself is inflation being calculated the same way as it was during the disastrous Jimmy Carter years? Well, it turns out it is not… and had Jimmy Carter had the benefit of today’s CPI he might have served a second term. People have a better sense of reality on the ground and their overall financial situation and purchasing power than government statisticians, so trust the people.

But it always comes down the the same thing: We are continually asked to abandon our commonsense and the world before our eyes as we see it and have that replaced by some government official telling us how things really are, contrary to our commonsense.

The best rule of thumb for this era is to cling to your commonsense and demand an incontrovertible amount of data before you abandon it. It will save you from the embarrassment of believing in simple things like Lance Armstrong was not doped” to more complicated phenomena like CAGW.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Anon
April 17, 2021 8:58 am

“10% of all deaths involved COVID-19” … What does this even mean? Lead poisoning (i.e. gunshots) can “involve” the WuFlu.

John Endicott
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
April 19, 2021 5:08 am

Indeed, some serious definition of terms is in order. If Joe died in a car accident while waiting for his COVID test results and it turned out he had COVID at the time, does that count as “a death that involves COVID?” If Mary has terminal cancer and was given a month to live, if during that month she contracted COVID and then died from the cancer exactly like her original cancer diagnosis said she would, does that count as “a death that involved COVID?”

Last edited 25 days ago by John Endicott
Philo
Reply to  Anon
April 19, 2021 6:48 am

The handling of the Wuhan flu epidemic/pandemic seems to be highly political and highly changeable.

Case in point, during the first year of the Trump administration(2017) the arrival of the virus was heavily politicized. Later on it appeared to be less political except in some strongly Democratic states.
President Trump very effectively got a much streamlined vaccine approval policy that is working. On the downside, inevitably the results of such a process inevitably have led to at least one vaccine having potential problems that likely would have turned up in the longer, drawn out, step by step, approval process.

Now(2021) it seems less political, but the “politics” of a Biden Presidency are not clear at all. It’s obvious President Biden doesn’t control the policies but he is in no position to counter them if he wanted to.

At least with the Trump admin we knew where the policies, no matter how spastic, were coming from.

As far as the survey goes, the main conclusion seems to be that Trump supporters were more in alignment with reality than the other responders. It appeared that they had less misperceptions about fact and opinions.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
April 17, 2021 12:19 pm

Yes, I caught that–but thought I was being uncharitable by mentally disapproving of this… thanks for jumping on it–I do disprove. Interesting though–if we adjust for the adjustments–the Trump voters are generally better informed. I wonder why? I was thinking that both sides (mainstream media vs conservative media) put a spin on things. But I bevieve that conservatives are more likely to begin with facts and then spin it while liberals think nothing of flat out lying so they begin with non-facts.

John Endicott
Reply to  Shelly
April 19, 2021 5:25 am

In addition to what you’ve said, I’d suggest that since the main stream media is so blatantly biased to the left, those on the right are use to be being more skeptical of the BS that is passed off as facts by the MSM and thus more likely to seek out the facts and data that run contrary to the spin (IE they’re better informed because they’ve had to actively seek out information), whereas the left is so use to hearing stuff that lines up with their own beliefs that they’re less skeptical of the lefty spin they’re being fed and thus less likely to seek out the facts and data that run contrary to the spin.

Kpar
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
April 17, 2021 12:56 pm

I note this with interest. I had repeatedly heard that, under the Obama Administration, average incomes had increased by approximately $5.3K in eight years. Trump himself noted that on more than one occasion.

Of course, that simply led to his point that average household income rose by about $8K in the first THREE years of his administration.

I do not recall hearing about the inflation adjustments.

Jim Whelan
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
April 17, 2021 1:58 pm

The entyire survey seems to have a subtle bias. The “pro left” questions are framed as yes/no but the “pro right” questions are multiple choice. Thus penalizes a right leaning individual who would answer yes/no correctly but doesn’t know the exact number (I know it’s high but is it closer to25% or 50%?). And then the answer is just classified as “wrong” with no distinction made as to who’s answers were closer to being correct.

And in the “climate change” part, yes/no completely ignores the issues of small/large/harmful/beneficial/catastrophic that underlies the falsities of the leftist positions.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
April 17, 2021 4:04 pm

Seems to me that inflation adjustments would make the increase larger, so if one answered the question by saying the income fell, one would be even more wrong when adjusting for inflation.
If the opposite question were asked, if income rose, and then used the inflation adjustment as the basis of the correct answer, then it could be called a trick question.

2hotel9
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 17, 2021 4:11 pm

“then it could be called a trick question” It is a “survey”, thats a given.

Chaswarnertoo
April 16, 2021 11:47 pm

So all voters are ignorant but right wingers are slightly less so. Yep, that confirms my bias…

Scissor
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
April 17, 2021 6:18 am

Makes sense.

I have a personality trait that is I hate to be wrong, objectively. It’s not always easy to be objective, but by being skeptical and independent minded, one can better access what is true or not. This trait certainly contributed to my personal journey from viewing things from a mostly left to a right perspective.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Scissor
April 17, 2021 8:26 am

‘Any man under 30 who is not a liberal has no heart, and any man overthirty who is not a conservative has no brains.’ — (credited to) Winston S. Churchill

PCman999
Reply to  Scissor
April 17, 2021 5:22 pm

Same here, fussy with the truth, usually I’ll point out the limits and caveats of what I profess before anyone else does. Also, and you’ll probably agree, I hate being lied to – don’t care if they had good intentions, are trying to say the world, etc., whatever – don’t want to hear lies, propaganda, distortions, spin or other crap.

John Endicott
Reply to  PCman999
April 19, 2021 5:35 am

That reminds of a line from early Doctor Who when Marco Polo explains to Ian (one of the Doctor’s travelling companions) why he can’t trust him anymore.

Ian, don’t you see it doesn’t matter to me why you lied. What is important is the fact that you are capable of lying”.

And that’s what the left doesn’t get with their lies for the cause. Once someone catches you lying, they won’t have any trust in what you have to say after that unless it can be verified by a source they do still trust (and even then they’re likely to be skeptical of what you’re saying)

John Dueker
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
April 17, 2021 6:19 am

Mine as well. The one I like the most because I hate Obama care is that life expectancy fell after it was implemented. Maybe I can’t leap to causation but it’s interesting.

Another leap is deplorables are 50% smarter than non deplorables.

Reply to  John Dueker
April 17, 2021 12:44 pm

John, I think the reason the life expendency went down was not Obamacare but the rising number of unhealthy illegals pouring into the country–hundreds of thousands. Teh death rate is not extrolated from citizens and non citizens (I don’t think although I could be wrong). If an illegal come where and dies a few years later of TB or what ever, he is not excluded from the death rate.

Dave
Reply to  Shelly
April 17, 2021 8:07 pm

Try drug overdoses and big jump in the murder rate.

Drake
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
April 17, 2021 8:29 am

Not “slightly” and where the right thinkers are somewhat wrong is often associated with the MSM’s overwhelming propaganda influencing them, i.e. more tornados and the like. So from the above about 3-1 left wrong more than the “right”.

An example of successful propaganda in the US is the % of gays. Almost every sitcom has at least one gay couple. The population think that 10% or more are gay. Bur less than 3% self identify as gay. 300% or more over the actual number through propaganda.

He!!, CNN has 2 gay “news” anchors in a row Monday through Friday night. Bias anyone?

April 16, 2021 11:52 pm

In the mid 20th century after two world wars the application of the scientific method reached a high point from the pressure of necessity to enable mere survival.
Since then it has progressively declined and much has been forgotten.
Relative security has led to excessive complacency and the collapse of intellectual and scientific rigour.
Now, we live amongst and are governed by an idiocracy.

M Courtney
Reply to  Stephen Wilde
April 17, 2021 12:24 am

Science and reason were necessary to support industry when industry ran on innovative machines.
The industrial revolution preceded the theory of thermodynamics. It’s the need that drove the science. And the need drove a culture of reason.

But we are no longer a manufacturing society. The economy runs on services. And in services, “what works” is less important than “what is seen to be satisfactory”.

So our culture has moved away form valuing reason towards valuing empathy. Or something that feels like empathy anyway.

Maybe that’s an improvement. Maybe it isn’t. But as China has become the manufacturing hub for the world we are about to find out.

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Stephen Wilde
April 17, 2021 12:37 am

You don’t understand electrolytes.

MarkH
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
April 17, 2021 3:31 am

Brawndo has electrolytes.

It’s what plants crave.

Larry in Texas
Reply to  Stephen Wilde
April 17, 2021 1:46 am

“Relative security has led to excessive complacency and the collapse of intellectual and scientific rigor.”

Stephen, you have a gift for understatement. This “security” is why I think the Left around the world has to invent reasons to justify both their existence and their fevered ideology. The search for utopia, even in comfortable times, continues apace.

Scott snell
Reply to  Larry in Texas
April 17, 2021 6:28 am

The thing about utopia is that it is always just around the corner. As with the end of the rainbow, you can never actually get there, no matter how hard you try.

Drake
Reply to  Scott snell
April 17, 2021 8:55 am

Human nature being what it is, utopia is impossible.

John Lennon and Imagine: “no possessions’? I see that he gave all his possessions away when he wrote that song, NOT.

Leftists will always want “no possessions” for those who worked to EARN them, taken to buy votes/power for themselves.

Progressivism was rampant before WW 1, including the typical progressive policies, euthanasia, racial cleansing, etc. He!!, Planned Parenthood is still succeeding in doing what Margret Sanger and Hitler wanted to do, reduce/eliminate what they determined were the “unwanted and inferior”. How many black babies are killed each year by abortion performed for free by Planned Parenthood? 1/8th of the US population is “black” but 1/3 of the abortions are “black” babies. 1/3 of black babies are aborted, a higher % than any other race.

Any time things are GOOD, the left will do substantial damage. Today in the US is a prime example. Almost all BLM and Antifa Rioters I see on the “news” have tattoos, piercings, etc. So much excess wealth to waste on body decorations.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Drake
April 17, 2021 9:28 am

The BLM co-founder has been exposed as having the resources to buy multiple expensive homes across the U.S.

Philo
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
April 19, 2021 7:01 am

It’s strange how opaque BLM is to what constitutes a black .BLM member.
Apparently anyone can show up as a BLM if they cause trouble, but not if they peacefully try to influence other demonstrators.

Reply to  Larry in Texas
April 17, 2021 12:46 pm

very descriptive, “fevered ideology”

Izaak Walton
April 17, 2021 12:34 am

Many of the answers seem to rely on seriously distorted statistics. Take Question 18 about the probability of dying from a drug overdose. The author starts with the figure that in 2019 the chances of dying from an overdose was 2 in 10000 and makes the highly dubious assumption that that is your chance of dying every year rather than across your entire life to get the ridiculous assertion that the chances of an someone in USA eventually dying of a drug overdose is 1 in 59. The only way that might make sense would be if 2019 was the first year in history that people started taking drugs and dying of them.

H.R.
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 17, 2021 5:18 am

Is that really you, Izaak? 😜

That one bothered me, too. 1 in 59?!?

Where are all the bodies?

Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 17, 2021 7:10 am

There is no assumption other than the one that is clearly stated in the question: “At the *current rate* of drug overdose deaths in the United States, what is the average lifetime chance of dying from a drug overdose?”

The methodology to answer this question was developed by a licensed actuary who double checked its accuracy by using a more sophisticated methodology that yielded the same result. These results were then checked by a PhD. mathematician: http://www.justfacts.com/reference/drug_overdose_death_lifetime_chance_2019.xls

2hotel9
Reply to  James D. Agresti
April 17, 2021 9:48 am

So everybody in America is at risk of dying from a drug overdose to some degree? Okey dokey, then.

Reply to  2hotel9
April 17, 2021 10:40 am

The words “United States” and “average” that appear in the question make clear that is not the risk for every individual but for the nation at large.
 
While it is true that drug overdoses are mostly driven by choices, some of today’s non-injectable street drugs are so potent that that they are killing youths who are not regular users and make one really bad choice without understanding the threat.
 
Furthermore, I know two people who ended up in a hospital after eating a drug-laced candy without knowing it.

Last edited 27 days ago by James D. Agresti
2hotel9
Reply to  James D. Agresti
April 17, 2021 11:21 am

Again, okey dokey. Feel what you want, feelings are not facts, and no, everybody in America is not at risk of dying from a drug overdose. A small percentage is at risk of that, just as a small percentage are at risk of being killed by a cop. Choices, like facts, are pesky little things. As for those two people, choices again. They should have been more discriminating who they hang out with.

John Endicott
Reply to  2hotel9
April 19, 2021 6:08 am

While I agree the 1 in 59 stat is highly suspect, the fact is most everybody in America will take some form of drug during their lifetime, as such, yes, contrary to what you might think, there is some degree (no matter how small) of overdosing beyond just the “drug users” ODing on a bad batch of meth in the gutters of NYC, LA, or Chicago due to their bad choices in life. Mistakes, accidents, and unexpected situations happen in life. Whether it’s the little child that doesn’t know better who manages to get a hold of a bottle of pills, or the senior citizen battling Alzhimers who takes more of their medicines than they should have because they keep forgetting they’ve already taken their daily dose, or the college frat guy who chugged a few too many drinks during pledge week (alcohol is a drug, you know) or the person who ate the brownies or drank the punch at an otherwise normal and “safe” party not knowing they were drug-laced/spiked or even something as simple as a mix-up in the manufacturing resulting in a normally harmless drug being dangerous or a normally drug-free product being accidentally contaminated (and thus subject to a recall, sadly only after people died) or an unexpected and deadly allergic reaction to a drug that for someone else would be perfectly OK to take.

So while there’s plenty of reason to doubt the 1 in 59 stat, the truth it isn’t as simple as “don’t make bad choices and the chance drops to 0”, there’s very few things in life that are that simple.

2hotel9
Reply to  John Endicott
April 19, 2021 8:18 am

All that is well and good, does not change the fact that bad choices lead to bad outcomes and the vast majority of ODs are not accidental, they are happening to those who habitually use drugs, whether they “accidentally” OD is not really the point. Had they not been using it would not have happened. And let me add another piece of wood to the fire, San Francisco Medical Examiners Office has released numbers for last year, more people in SF died from drug overdose than people died in SF from covid in 2020. Again, choices.

People are looking uncritically at surveys such as this one and drawing totally wrong conclusions from them. That is one of the contributing factors to how screwed up our country has become. They look at this crap and think”Oh, these people are professionals, they must know what they are talking about!” when in fact all they are doing is manipulating people’s perceptions. This is what is so insidiously dangerous in it. Good gawd, 1000 respondents out of a population 330 odd millions is supposed to somehow be authoritative and factual about that entire population. Jesus wept.

John Endicott
Reply to  2hotel9
April 19, 2021 11:59 am

All that is well and good, does not change the fact that bad choices lead to bad outcomes and the vast majority of ODs are not accidental,

I agree, I was merely pointing out that there is some degree of risk (no matter how small a degree that may be) for “everybody in America” (since “everybody in America” uses various kinds of drugs at various point in their lives, remember not all drug are bad or illegal, some drugs actually save lives when used properly). Your scoffing claim otherwise was simply uncritically overstating your case.

2hotel9
Reply to  John Endicott
April 20, 2021 6:59 am

Nothing uncritical about it. All life is risk. Using these ginned up surveys and polls to terrify people to point of making no choice about anything in their lives, so they cry for “someone to do something” is the greatest risk to our country. The risk of overdosing for the vast majority of Americans is so low it should not even be a consideration for their daily lives. All these pollsters and survey takers are simply throwing this crap in people’s faces in order to A. Make money and 2. push their political agendas. Don’t listen to their denials, look at the results of what they are doing, stealing from people and manipulating people. Quit listening to these hucksters, they are simply running a grift.

John Endicott
Reply to  2hotel9
April 21, 2021 5:41 am

I agree with most of what you just said re pollsters/surveys, the point is when you vastly overstate your case like you did (IE scoffing at the fact that there is indeed some risk, no matter how small it actually is) you undermine the point you are trying to make by appearing to be the very thing you are railing against (IE someone pushing their political agenda regardless of the facts)

2hotel9
Reply to  John Endicott
April 21, 2021 6:15 pm

Again, the risk of the average citizen ODing is so vanishingly small as to be irrelevant. THAT is the point. All polls and surveys are crap. The people producing them deserve to be buried under a mountain of derision and scorn, and yet they continue to make gobs of money spreading lies.

yirgach
Reply to  James D. Agresti
April 17, 2021 10:09 am

The actuary made the following assumptions:
1. All drug overdose deaths happen at the end of the year.
2. Drug overdose deaths consistent every year.
3. Person survives every year and dies at age 78.

I have a hard time accepting #2 as a real life assumption.

Reply to  yirgach
April 17, 2021 10:52 am

Yes, #2 is implausible given that drug overdose rates have been drastically increasing for the past 2 decades: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db394-tables-508.pdf
 
Nonetheless, this assumption was clearly stated in the question, making your argument moot.

yirgach
Reply to  James D. Agresti
April 17, 2021 4:33 pm

Tsdr.

Richard Page
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 17, 2021 7:31 am

What do they class as ‘dying from a drug overdose’? Surely if I never take drugs my chances of dying from a drug overdose are 0%? Unless some car driver, high on something illegal, mows me down as I’m walking along the street? Wouldn’t that be me dying from someone else’s drug overdose?

Reply to  Richard Page
April 17, 2021 10:43 am

The words “United States” and “average” that appear in the question make clear that this is about the nation at large, not just you.
 
While it is true that drug overdoses are mostly driven by choices, some of today’s non-injectable street drugs are so potent that that they are killing youths who are not regular users and make one really bad choice without understanding the threat.
 
Furthermore, I know two people who ended up in a hospital after eating a drug-laced candy without knowing it.

John Endicott
Reply to  Richard Page
April 19, 2021 6:34 am

You never taken an aspirin, Tylenol or other pain reliever, ever? Never had beer, wine or champagne (alcohol is classified as a drug, as is caffeine, so same question applies to coffee and many popular soft drinks)? Don’t ever expect to be taking any kind of medication as you reach your twilight years? Plan on never being a patient in a hospital? The number of people in the US who “never take” any kind of drug during a normal lifespan is pretty close to zero. As such, the chances of overdosing thus can never be 0%. Obviously the more responsible you are in your use of what drugs you do end up taking in your lifetime, the less you chance of ODing are. But accidents, mistakes, and other errors have been known to occur, so even the most responsible of persons doesn’t have a 0% chance, even if it maybe as close to 0 as is humanly possible.

Last edited 25 days ago by John Endicott
rhoda klapp
April 17, 2021 12:52 am

It isn’t that voters are ignorant, it’s ‘what they know for sure just aint so’ due to tainted sources of information. That is the MSM telling lies.

2hotel9
Reply to  rhoda klapp
April 17, 2021 6:06 am

And our educational system.

John Endicott
Reply to  2hotel9
April 19, 2021 6:35 am

aka indoctrination centers

cerescokid
Reply to  rhoda klapp
April 17, 2021 7:52 am

Absolutely correct. Who has time to research the correct answers. I knew a couple of the correct answers, but only because I looked up the data previously. The public is prisoner to leftwing propaganda 24/7.

griff
April 17, 2021 12:59 am

Considering the majority of posters here believe things clearly contrary to fact e.g the world isn’t warming due to CO2, there will be an ice age any minute, the arctic sea ice isn’t decreasing steadily, the polar bears are thriving, climate science is a communist plot, renewables inevitably lead to grid failure, DDT wasn’t banned for good reason (and isn’t still used to fight malaria), there is such a thing as clean coal, the Great Barrier reef is OK, the USA doesn’t have a gun problem… etc, etc…

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  griff
April 17, 2021 5:53 am

“Considering the majority of posters here believe things clearly contrary to fact…”

It must be comforting to think you know the truth on all these subjects.

2hotel9
Reply to  griff
April 17, 2021 6:05 am

Yes, you believe things which are contrary to facts. No, you are not the majority here or anywhere else.

Scissor
Reply to  griff
April 17, 2021 6:10 am

All problems are people problems.

Richard Page
Reply to  griff
April 17, 2021 7:34 am

Thanks Griff, in an article and comment thread devoted to confirmation bias, you really had to appear as the certifiable proof, didn’t you? You are so much better and more predictable than a conspiracy theory – just not as believable!

markl
Reply to  griff
April 17, 2021 10:07 am

“DDT wasn’t banned for good reason (and isn’t still used to fight malaria)” Wrong as usual. Look it up.

Climate believer
Reply to  griff
April 17, 2021 12:10 pm

Ok I’ll bite, I’ve got 5 minutes to waste….and it will be wasted.
Btw I’m not representing anyone but me.

“the world isn’t warming due to CO2”

CO² is a trace gas that makes up 0.0415% of the atmosphere and only 3% of that is from man made emissions (IPCC). What you’re saying is, humans have somehow started heating up the planet by adding 0.001245% of CO² to the atmosphere.

You could surely forgive some people for being a little skeptical about that.

Did you know that for the last 20 years the UK mean annual temperature and CO² have a negative correlation of -0.15? Why is that?

The Central England Temperature set which starts from 1659 shows +0.03°C/decade. I really don’t see that as problematic.

I would humbly suggest that human CO² emissions are not the catastrophe that you think they are.

“the arctic sea ice isn’t decreasing steadily”

I don’t deny that, I do however wonder why “global warming”™ isn’t happening in the Antarctic? (graph) Why is that?

Polar bears are not an endangered species, and when we finally get some Russian data, we’ll get to see just how unendangered they are.

Climate science isn’t a science, but there are some serious questions about the broken nature of science at the moment and the way politics has infiltrated University education.
If you are unaware of Marxist, post modernist, critical theory thinking seeping into every nook and cranny of western societies, then it is you who is denying the facts.

As regards to “renewable”™ energy sources I don’t understand why you cannot grasp that wind and solar are not constant, and if tomorrow the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, how are you going to guarantee power to your grid without building more conventional power supplies?

Which begs the question…why the hell bother in the first place?

“the Great Barrier reef is OK”

….finally we agree on something…. right alcohol…

JASMES_CLIMATE_SIE_197811_000000_5DAVG_PS_9999_LINE_SHM_201.png
Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  griff
April 17, 2021 4:14 pm

the Great Barrier reef is OK

It definitely is OK. For those of us who live near it, and see it often, we know that it’s doing fine. The media, on the other hand, are constantly reporting otherwise because some corrupt Climate Scientologists have been lying about it.

Poley bears are fine too.

April 17, 2021 1:18 am

This survey might have been done in a scientific way, but I find many of the questions rather unscientific, and many of the “answers” even more so. To illustrate, #1 assumes validity of covidiocy data well debunked.
Another VERY suspect ‘answer’ is #17. Specifically, let us talk about glyphosate, the “active ingredient” in roundup. I shall not treat the extremely suspect data supplied by those who sell this horrific hormone disruptor, but I point out one single, verifiable absolute truth: A senior scientist for Monsanto actually smiled into the camera when she said: “…people are concentrating on glyphosate, there are things a thousand times more toxic that that in Roundup”. Calling glyphosate the “active ingredient” allows Monsanto to not list the other forty-odd ingredients, and this “scientific study” obliquely perpetuates the ‘safety’ of glyphosate.
I repeat, the methodology for this survey may fulfill the requirements for “scienciness” on some levels, but mainly it is just sciencery.
“There are lies, damned lies, and statistics”
But it’s nice to see conservatives have their head slightly less deep up their own backsides…

Reply to  paranoid goy
April 17, 2021 7:20 am

The answer to question #1 does not assume the “validity of covidiocy data” but documents that “CDC’s tally of C-19 deaths may be modestly inflated but still provides a reasonable measure of the pandemic’s severity”: https://www.justfactsdaily.com/is-the-official-covid-19-death-toll-accurate

I personally conducted the rigorously documented research at the link above, and it has withstood the test of time.

I have not researched the issue of other substances in Roundup, but it does not change the correct answer to the question: Contact with a “toxic” chemical is NOT always dangerous. It is the dose that makes the poison, and anything is toxic at a high enough dose: https://www.justfacts.com/pollution#introduction

George Daddis
Reply to  James D. Agresti
April 17, 2021 8:34 am

And the widespread use of LNT (linear no lower threshold) theory to justify “estimated” harm is the basis of many questionable statistics in the health and environmental fields.

2hotel9
Reply to  James D. Agresti
April 17, 2021 9:45 am

When people who die in auto accidents, from heart disease and suicide are listed as covid deaths the figures are crap. Manipulation. Pure and simple. Government employees lie, elected officials lie, Anthony Fauci lies every time he speaks. Chinese Disease is a flu strain. The question that needs answered is why was China doing gain of function research on a corona strain, the direction of which they admit was to increase it lethality in specific population segments. There is a survey you can get busy on. Just don’t go to China to do it, they will ship you off to live with the uighyars.

Reply to  James D. Agresti
April 17, 2021 12:57 pm

a) The very existence of the covidiot plandemic is in question.
b) The use of glyphosate as an example in the report is subliminal propaganda, a method Monsanto has elevated to an art. It’s like global warming; every time you mention it, you make it a bit more ‘real’. Including that example tarnished the rest of the document’s scientific credibility, as it indicates the involvement of paid-for sciencer/s. There is no other logical reason for including that example, none at all, other than normalising their concious and unconscionable eugenicist war upon mankind. Subliminnal. Propaganda.
There are many more such falacies in this report, like the trillions in “social services” that we all know is never going to reach further than some governor’s friend’s closed-tender contract.
P.S. I followed your link. Internal consistency of argument is a noble pursuit for any writer, you may want to look into that…

Last edited 27 days ago by paranoid goy
2hotel9
Reply to  paranoid goy
April 17, 2021 3:27 pm

The best part of the roundup debacle is the only “proof” is the ruling of a judge in the Netherlands and a 6 person jury in San Francisco. All the medical research has shown that as long as you don’t bath in it or drink it it is perfectly safe to use. Read and follow instructions. Where is the difficult part.

Reply to  2hotel9
April 17, 2021 11:38 pm

“Proof” of what, exactly? List us the 40-odd ingredients, let’s judge for ourselves, shall we?
https://enveurope.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s12302-014-0014-5#Abs1
Read that and come tell me about proof again.
“All the medical research”, right. Subsidised by a corporation that can afford to insert a mea-non-culpa advertisement even into a survey on American general knowledge? Which is what we are talking about here, right?

2hotel9
Reply to  paranoid goy
April 18, 2021 4:22 am

Studies by Johns Hopkins, Penn State and Mayo Clinic to name 3. And no, Monsanto did not pay them. Studies out of Europe on roundup predating the cancer lawsuits also. You definitely prove the paranoid part of your name, I’ll give you that. Soak any living thing in roundup long enough and it will die. Try reading and following directions, difficult and vastly time consuming for some, I know.

Reply to  2hotel9
April 18, 2021 9:50 pm

a) The institutions you name are not trusted anymore, and they are all recipients of Monsanto funding.
b) Monsanto’s record for ‘incentivising’ the press is notorious, and their own internal communications were presented in court as proof that they are well aware of the problems with their product. You are obviously pretending to be unaware that their stated solution to these problems ignored the product, and instead focused on a PRESS campaign? (The original charge I implied).
c) I am not interested in soaking anything in Roundup, but you may want to site the safe levels of hormone disruption in developing nervous systems? Did you bother opening the link I included, or are you not at that pay grade? Did you bother putting your assertions to the test on a search engine?
d) If the stuff is so safe, please supply a complete ingredients list.
e) Your loyalty to Monsanto leads you to ad hominems, your intellectual dishonesty causes you to misrepresent the issues at hand and your arrogance makes you insult anyone ‘too stupid to read labels’? Please explain why the crap is now in every link of the food chain, is every single farmer in the world too stupid to read labels, or does this product behave vastly different in the real world, than the lab promised?
Try actual coherent argument next time, your Monsanto switch-and-bait logic, drive-by-insult and derisitory rejection of criticism is too cliche’d to be taken seriously. Your bias is hanging out, zip up!

2hotel9
Reply to  paranoid goy
April 19, 2021 7:49 am

Keep telling yourself those lies, and tighten that tinfoil hat, Monsanto is reading your thoughts.

fretslider
April 17, 2021 1:19 am

A scientific survey?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=G0ZZJXw4MTA

Yes of course…

H.R.
Reply to  fretslider
April 17, 2021 5:42 am

Thanks, fretslider. I’ve seen that clip before and it’s pretty much what I think of surveys.
.
.
.
Ha! I’ll get a survey sometime in the mail after some service, maybe taking the car in for some work. Lots of questions of how was this or that, greeted with a smile? Clean? Lot’s of other detailed twaddle that maybe you’re supposed to rate 1 to 5, (and wasting your time).

I always take a black Sharpie and write across the front, “It was fine. Everything was fine. If it hadn’t been fine, I would have complained right away.”

I’ve also had a few phone surveys of the same type. Before they even start asking questions, I give them the same as above. “Everything was fine, just fine. Bye”

Reply to  fretslider
April 17, 2021 7:30 am

Due to various notable failures, some believe that surveys can never be accurate, but the facts is that they can be, and virtually everyone who reads about public policy accepts such data on a regular basis, often without even knowing that it came from surveys. This is true of official government data on GDP, education, employment, and an enormous array of Census data.
 
Such surveys typically use much larger samples than the ones used in public opinion polls, and thus, the margins of sampling error are smaller, but the principle is the same: survey a representative sample and apply the results to the U.S. population: https://www.justfactsdaily.com/rape-facts-and-falsehoods#surveys

2hotel9
Reply to  James D. Agresti
April 17, 2021 9:23 am

No, surveys and polling are not accurate or dependable, they are all manipulated. A survey of 1000 people does not represent reality, it is merely window dressing for what those presenting it want to push. Polling is no different, unless people provide ID and signature with their responses it is crap. Voting anonymously has turned into the same crap. Until every voter present valid ID and signs their ballots it is all just kabuki theater.

fretslider
Reply to  James D. Agresti
April 18, 2021 12:46 am

Who would trust anyone claiming polling is unbiased?

2hotel9
Reply to  fretslider
April 18, 2021 4:24 am

Oop, there it is!

mothcatcher
April 17, 2021 1:24 am

I rather suspect that the authors of the study are on the conservative side of the divide, since I find it difficult to believe that, in choosing the questions, they didn’t already know roughly how the outcome would shape up.

That said, I just love this study and thoroughly approve of its publication. Mostly because it confirms all my own biases, confirms my low opinion of the power of analysis of the general population, confirms their willingness to be led, and confirms my utter contempt for the mass media.

Come to think of it, maybe the authors didn’t start off as conservative – perhaps they were also taken aback by the results – or even the correct answers to the questions. But still they published. So, still I love them.

Reply to  mothcatcher
April 17, 2021 2:17 am

In fact, Agresti is an adviser to the Heartland Foundation. He also writes on the literal truth of the Bible. Just facts, mind you.

Last edited 28 days ago by Nick Stokes
fred250
Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 17, 2021 2:59 am

So, basically , someone who is far more interested in facts and honesty than, say, a CNN reporter or any other self-righteous, egotistic, leftist shill.

Patrick B
Reply to  fred250
April 17, 2021 7:56 am

Setting a rather low bar aren’t we?

Redge
Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 17, 2021 4:07 am

Nick, by all means, tell us the survey is garbage, but please don’t play the man instead of the ball.

It’s not as though the climate scientists paychecks depend on global warming being catastrophic, is it?

mothcatcher
Reply to  Redge
April 17, 2021 4:43 am

That was a fair comment by Nick, in response to my tongue-in-cheek speculation as to the motives of the authors. However, unless we think the answers to the questions were massaged or distorted (not unknown in such surveys), the results do confirm what we suspect is the sinister effect of the media hype and dishonesty.

Redge
Reply to  mothcatcher
April 17, 2021 7:10 am

It was the bible reference, which is irrelevant, not the reference to THF

LdB
Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 17, 2021 10:05 am

As opposed to Nick who just redefines everything and does the Stokes Defense and hand waive to everything.

Reply to  mothcatcher
April 17, 2021 7:35 am

Thank you for your kind words. I am personally conservative/libertarian, but I and the other staff of Just Facts adhere to strict standards of accuracy and objectivity: https://www.justfacts.com/aboutus#Standards_Of_Credibility
 
We have published countless facts that are indifferent or challenging to conservative views. Thus, our work has been widely praised and cited by a diverse array of peer-reviewed journals, academic publishers, media outlets, governments, think tanks, and educational institutions: https://www.justfacts.com/aboutus#serving

Climate believer
April 17, 2021 2:34 am

I don’t find these sort of telephone polls very enlightening, maybe I’m biased.

Steve Case
April 17, 2021 3:51 am

Would have been nice to have had the opportunity to take the survey myself. I thought maybe I missed the “[Take the Survey]” button, but if it’s there, I haven’t found it.

It’s interesting that on the last question:

Social Security isn’t mentioned. Uh Income security is. What, they couldn’t spell it out?

And 10% of liberal Democrats don’t know Social Security is the biggest part of the budget.

Finally:

7.6% to 9.8% of drivers pulled over. How would anyone know that?
Land area growing? How is the average person supposed to have an opinion on that?
Drug deaths 1 in 59? Pull my other leg

Patrick B
April 17, 2021 3:59 am

I saved my time by skipping the article after seeing the first few “facts” about COVID. Anyone who is going to claim they know death rates of COVID or deaths involvingCovid based on CD “data” simply has not been paying attention to how corrupted the data is.

Reply to  Patrick B
April 17, 2021 7:38 am

The notion that I have not “not been paying attention” to the accuracy of the CDC’s C-19 death data is debunked by the following statement and link in the article: “CDC’s tally of C-19 deaths may be modestly inflated but still provides a reasonable measure of the pandemic’s severity”: https://www.justfactsdaily.com/is-the-official-covid-19-death-toll-accurate
 
I personally conducted the rigorously documented research at the link above, and it has withstood the test of time.

Ken
April 17, 2021 4:15 am

I question the validity of any telephone only survey. Once upon a time, the telephone was THE sole means of communication and it was a legitimate method to contact people. Not so today when the people have been subjected to endless robo & unsolicited advertising calls for over a couple of decades. It may be true that during this idiotic lockdowns period that people are bored and may want to communicate, but the answers given are the least truthful.

For myself, I do not have a cell phone and rely upon a landline telephone only. Even so, any unsolicited call is promptly placed in the block list, especially when a foreign accent is detected from the caller.

marlene
April 17, 2021 4:41 am

This is the silliest bit of trivia i’ve read in a long time. Any increase in the size of the sample and/or questions and/or different wording of questions would have produced entirely different results.  This bloviated survey serves no purpose, other than to cull to all biases associated with each question.

Dave Miller
Reply to  marlene
April 17, 2021 5:40 am

The survey questions are NOT the important point here, the big difference in responses by Trump vs Biden voters is. Bi-modal distributions.

Though, one could argue that’s not news!

That said, the lifetime risk of dying from a drug overdose is an example of the kind of stupid statistics I see all the time. The calculation assumes the same risk over the whole population. There is a large portion of the population who are NOT at risk of dying from opioid use, because they’ll never do it even once.

Last edited 27 days ago by Dave Miller
Reply to  Dave Miller
April 17, 2021 7:51 am

While it is true that drug overdoses are mostly driven by choices, some of today’s non-injectable street drugs are so potent that that they are killing youths who are not regular users and make one really bad choice without understanding the threat.
 
Furthermore, I know two people who ended up in a hospital after eating a drug-laced candy without knowing it.
 
With regard to the methodology to answer the question, it was developed by a licensed actuary who double checked its accuracy by using a more sophisticated methodology that yielded the same result. These results were then checked by a PhD. mathematician: http://www.justfacts.com/reference/drug_overdose_death_lifetime_chance_2019.xls

Reply to  marlene
April 17, 2021 7:47 am

“Any increase in the size of the sample … would have produced entirely different results.”
 
You don’t seem to understand how scientific surveys work. As the textbook Statistics for K–8 Educators states:
 
“It is remarkable that the margin of error when you estimate a percentage depends only on p [the proportion of people who answer a poll question in a certain way] and n [the number of respondents]. This explains why a national random sample of 1,000 people can accurately represent 200 million people.”
 
In more detail, the textbook Statistics: Concepts and Controversies explains:
 
“Why does the size of the population have little influence on the behavior of statistics from random samples? Imagine sampling harvested corn by thrusting a scoop into a lot of corn kernels. The scoop doesn’t know whether it is surrounded by a bag of corn or by an entire truckload. As long as the corn is well mixed (so that the scoop selects a random sample), the availability of the result depends only on the size of the scoop.”
 
Because it is incredibly expensive and frequently impossible to collect information about every person in the U.S., governments, scientists, and scholars often obtain such data through surveys. This is true of official government data on crime, education, employment, the economy, and an enormous array of Census data. Virtually everyone who reads about public policy accepts such data on a regular basis.
 
For facts about how surveys work and why some are accurate while others are not, see: https://www.justfactsdaily.com/rape-facts-and-falsehoods/#surveys
 
With regard to your claim that “different wording of questions would have produced entirely different results,” these questions are straightforward and comprehensive. If you have a problem with the wording of any of them, tell us how you would have worded them differently and why they would have produced different results.

David Sulik
April 17, 2021 5:33 am

The author’s deceptive bias at the beginning of the article about “the average income of middle-income households fell … (and) their inflation-adjusted…” stopped me dead from further reading.

Reply to  David Sulik
April 17, 2021 7:55 am

The answer mentions inflation-adjusted income because this is a stricter and more accurate standard used by people who understand these issues. Making financial claims that fail to account for inflation, per the Journal of Accountancy, “does not deliver a message that is completely true and fair.” Likewise, the academic serial work Quantitative Investing for the Global Markets affirms that “we should be concerned not with nominal quantities [i.e., those not adjusted for inflation] but with real ones.”
 
The question does not mention inflation so as not to confuse average voters.
 
Inflation rose during the Obama administration (https://www.justfacts.com/monetarypolicy#inflation_measures), and this means that nominal income rose by MORE than inflation-adjusted income.
 
Regardless of whether inflation is included, the answer to the question is the same: the average income of middle-income households rose during the Obama administration.

John Endicott
Reply to  James D. Agresti
April 20, 2021 2:18 am

Answers should match the question (it called comparing apple to apples), if they don’t then you’re just creating garbage (even if you later claim that a different answer shows the same thing). If you ask about one thing but use an answer of something else when “grading” the survey, that is at best a badly chosen question/answer combo and at worst a purposefully deceptive one. If you wanted an answer that takes into account inflation, you need to ask a question that takes into account inflation. anything less makes the question and answer worthless re whether or not the people surveyed are deluded. All it shows is the survey maker is not very good at best or purposefully deceptive at worse when creating meaningful questions and answers in that regard.

2hotel9
April 17, 2021 6:01 am

They “surveyed” 1000 people who answered a landline phone. Color me underwhelmed. The bias illustrated by the author of the article pretty well covers what was intended with this “survey”.

Reply to  2hotel9
April 17, 2021 7:56 am

You don’t seem to understand how scientific surveys work. As the textbook Statistics for K–8 Educators states:
 
“It is remarkable that the margin of error when you estimate a percentage depends only on p [the proportion of people who answer a poll question in a certain way] and n [the number of respondents]. This explains why a national random sample of 1,000 people can accurately represent 200 million people.”
 
In more detail, the textbook Statistics: Concepts and Controversies explains:
 
“Why does the size of the population have little influence on the behavior of statistics from random samples? Imagine sampling harvested corn by thrusting a scoop into a lot of corn kernels. The scoop doesn’t know whether it is surrounded by a bag of corn or by an entire truckload. As long as the corn is well mixed (so that the scoop selects a random sample), the availability of the result depends only on the size of the scoop.”
 
Because it is incredibly expensive and frequently impossible to collect information about every person in the U.S., governments, scientists, and scholars often obtain such data through surveys. This is true of official government data on crime, education, employment, the economy, and an enormous array of Census data. Virtually everyone who reads about public policy accepts such data on a regular basis.
 
For facts about how surveys work and why some are accurate while others are not, see: https://www.justfactsdaily.com/rape-facts-and-falsehoods/#surveys
 
With regard to your claim that “different wording of questions would have produced entirely different results,” these questions are straightforward and comprehensive. If you have a problem with the wording of any of them, tell us how you would have worded them differently and why they would have produced different results.

John Endicott
Reply to  James D. Agresti
April 20, 2021 2:49 am

This explains why a national random sample of 1,000 people can accurately represent 200 million people

And yet, I (and I suspect most people here, yourself included) know of several such so-called “random sample” polls of the past few years that have failed (sometimes spectacularly) to so accurately represent.

The problem is proving you are getting a real random sample, If you are, for just one example, overweighted (as many such polls are) in “landline” phone responses (a demographic that is not truly random, as it’s a shrinking demographic that isn’t very representative of the nation as a whole), you are not getting a truly random sample. Just because you says its a random sample doesn’t make it so. What steps did you take to make sure it was so?

With regard to your claim that “different wording of questions would have produced entirely different results,” these questions are straightforward and comprehensive.

And yet you ask about income (without regard to inflation) and grade based on an answer that takes into account inflation. Sorry but your questions are not being straightforward when you are giving as “the” answer one that is different (however slightly) to the question you asked. If you wanted an answer that takes inflation into account, you need to ask a question that takes inflation into account, you can’t assume the response does or does not if you don’t ask it as part of the question. Someone that answered one way without taking into account inflation might actually answer a different way if they knew inflation was to be considered. But you’ll never know because you chose not to ask for that which you were taking into consideration.

2hotel9
Reply to  James D. Agresti
April 20, 2021 7:21 am

I understand that 1000 people does not represent the views of 330 odd million people, to say so is comical, or deceptive. The only surveyors I trust are real surveyors. They survey land and are based in reality.Peddle your pablum to someone else, I ain’t buying it.

Scott snell
April 17, 2021 6:21 am

In the immortal words of Arne Johnson: ” Verrrryy interesting.”

John Endicott
Reply to  Scott snell
April 20, 2021 2:51 am

“…but stupid” 😉

EOM
April 17, 2021 7:16 am

An interesting item I noticed just BELOW your article, a title: “Rasmussen Poll: 69% Say it is Likely Scientists Have Falsified Global Warming Research”. OK. But LOOK at the DATE: August 3, 2011, about 10 years ago. Your article doesn’t happen to address that particular question directly, but it seems that belief in scientific-verified global warming has increased over the past decade.

Interesting:

So, in the first 1000 years, AD you have “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whomever believes in Him shall not perish but should have everlasting life”. First Century. Then, in the second 1000 years, AD, you have Newton’s Laws of Motion and Kepler’s Laws (1500s, 1600s) on one hand, and the absolute, certain effectiveness of often false propaganda (1900s). “If you tell a lie often enough, it becomes the truth” -Lenin, and “The bigger the lie, the more people will believe it” -Hitler, and also all sorts examples that you cite in your article.

Insufficiently Sensitive
April 17, 2021 7:18 am

In reality, police are 42% less likely to use lethal force when arresting blacks than whites.

You may thank the editorial staff of your ‘news’ media for their confirmation bias which has convinced them that the only news worth publishing about local police is of the extreme occasions in which blacks are shot.

Doonman
Reply to  Insufficiently Sensitive
April 17, 2021 11:32 am

That’s because the main stream news outlets have an agenda of promoting racism in order to divide the public. As Morgan Freeman said in his interview years ago with 60 minutes, “If you want to end racism then stop talking about it.” That left Mike Wallace speechless and he changed the subject.

April 17, 2021 7:50 am

While I give credit for offering a metric that can actually be measured, and even for looking at all sources for income- the question about “middle income” households should have been caught by any decent survey company as having an obvious issue.

Those surveyed would not be thinking “middle quintile of households.”

They would be thinking the question was <I>middle class households</i>.

And they would <I>not</i> be considering “a lot more households got food stamps and other government assistance” to be a sign of income going UP!

There is also the known issue of adjusting-for-inflation being very bad at reacting to increases in food and energy costs, which could be answered if there had been a direct link to the definition of inflation that they were using.

All things considered, it looks like the question was put in to give the appearance of being even-handed, which is a good rhetorical tactic but does not make me trust the survey publishers.

Reply to  Foxfier
April 17, 2021 8:44 am

Regardless of whether one defines “middle-income” as the “middle quintile” or as a broader measure that includes the upper and lower “middle class,” the answer to the question is the same: Their average income rose in this period: https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/2020-10/56575-supplemental-data.xlsx
 
Except for Obamacare subsidies, middle-income households are generally ineligible for “food stamps and other government assistance”: https://www.justfacts.com/income_wealth_poverty#poverty_welfare
 
Contrary to a popular myth, CPI properly accounts for energy and food. As documented by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
 
“Finally, it must again be emphasized strongly that none of the prominent legislated uses of the CPI excludes food or energy: each year, Social Security and Federal retirement benefits are updated for inflation by the all-items CPI-W. Individual income tax parameters and TIPS returns are indexed by the all-items CPI-U.” https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2008/08/art1full.pdf
 
The CBO data I cited uses PCE for its inflation, and this also accounts for energy and food: https://www.justfacts.com/monetarypolicy#inflation_measures

Last edited 27 days ago by James D. Agresti
2hotel9
Reply to  James D. Agresti
April 17, 2021 10:03 am

You keep citing USBLS as some irrefutable source of facts. Starting to see the edges of this problem.

Pat from kerbob
April 17, 2021 8:02 am

I got rid of my landline 6 years ago because the only incoming calls were from pollsters and conn artists, basically the same thing.

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
April 17, 2021 8:44 am

The survey used cell phones as well.

2hotel9
Reply to  James D. Agresti
April 17, 2021 10:00 am

Then you can rest assured I blocked your number.

John Endicott
Reply to  2hotel9
April 20, 2021 3:11 am

Indeed, one of the great thing about cell phones is it’s so easy to ignore unsolicited calls from unknown sources. Unknown number, don’t pick up. If it’s important they’ll leave a message.

Which again brings us back to proving their sample is truly random. With many (I even dare say most) cell phone users screening their calls (IE not picking up for unknown numbers) it’s hard to claim that the few who are:
1) willing to pick up when an unsolicited unknown number calls their phone and
2) doesn’t immediately hang up the moment they realize it’s a “junk call”
somehow constitutes a truly random sample of the population.

Last edited 25 days ago by John Endicott
2hotel9
Reply to  John Endicott
April 20, 2021 7:31 am

Add a step, block that number. I call back on them a lot, nearly every one comes back as inactive or an unending busy signal, a few go to voicemail/message machine, the legit calls actually answer.

John Endicott
Reply to  2hotel9
April 21, 2021 5:57 am

Add a step, block that number

I use to do that, but realized it’s a waste of effort as that only works when it’s a legitimate number calling. All too many spam/junk calls are spoofed numbers (most of those “inactive or unending busy signals you talk about are very likely such spoofed numbers) designed to look like they’re coming from your local area in the hopes that you’ll be more likely to pickup thinking it’s someone nearby that you might know. The same spammer can call you with a different spoofed number every time they call. In other words blocking spam/junk calls after you receive one is just playing wack-a-mole with most of the moles you are wacking being numbers that never would have called you again even if you didn’t block it as they’d be calling you under a different number instead.

2hotel9
Reply to  John Endicott
April 21, 2021 6:21 pm

Yea, I have blocked my own number, twice. Got to keep doing it, block every unwanted caller number, it is a cumulative effect. I miss the days when actual people did the calling, you could screw them around and have fun, now it is all computer crap.

Jim Whelan
Reply to  John Endicott
April 20, 2021 2:37 pm

Even landlines have caller ID.

2hotel9
Reply to  Jim Whelan
April 20, 2021 2:46 pm

If you pay for it.

John Endicott
Reply to  Jim Whelan
April 21, 2021 5:47 am

it costs extra to have caller ID on a landline. Cell phones have that feature built in. Most everyone I know that still has a landline are not willing to pay the extra cost for caller ID. If they were willing to pay more, they likely would have ditched their landline long ago for a cell phone

Last edited 23 days ago by John Endicott
Steve Oregon
April 17, 2021 8:03 am

The internet and social media has accelerated the delusion and made it irreversible.
We are doomed to having misinformed masses touting and sharing how smart they are.
This can’t be fixed.

Nick Schroeder
April 17, 2021 8:09 am

Pesky actual facts.

So far, this year, in Chicago ALONE!!!!!
154 shot & killed, one every 14 h 37 m.
685 shot and wounded, one every 2 h 48 m.
95.5% – people of colour. (BLnotMtoB)
By handguns mostly.
(shot by police 8)

Whites are 76% of the population, blacks 13%.
From the riotous fits pitched one would think blacks were 49%, from the Grammys, 80%, from TV ads 65%.
Whites commit 69% of the violent crimes, blacks 27%.
White under 18, 62.5%; black under 18, 33.9%
White women abort 12% of their pregnancies, black women abort 34% of their pregnancies.

Reparations won’t fix any of the above problems and will simply finance more guns, drugs, Escalades and unwanted children.
BLM should take away the guns and NAACP should hand out condoms.

marlene
April 17, 2021 8:35 am

 There’s a lot of propaganda in this “survey.” Is JustFacts going to be the last word for the future of scientific research? Hope not. A lot of time and money were spent on this survey and even though it can be refuted almost completely by further research, it would take a lot of time and money, again, to do so.  Finally, it lacks completion – eg: any increase in the size of the sample and/or questions and/or different wording of questions would have produced entirely different results.  This bloviated survey serves no purpose, other than to cull to all biases associated with each question. In other words, a position was chosen and researchers used only the information that supported their premise, leaving out everything that was contrary, even if it from various sources. After all, JustFacts isn’t the only source for truth. They also cited many proven fake news – Washington Post!!!

Reply to  marlene
April 17, 2021 9:02 am

First and most simply, Just Facts only cited the Washington Post in this article to prove that it is WRONG. Please read carefully before you comment.
 
Second, you plagiarized part of your comment starting at “any increase in the size of the sample…” from another commenter, which I replied to. Read it if you care about the truth.
 
Third, you make a flurry of generalizations without offering any evidence to support.

marlene
April 17, 2021 8:38 am

 There’s a lot of propaganda in this “survey.” Is JustFacts going to be the last word for the future of scientific research? Hope not. A lot of time and money were spent on this survey and even though it can be refuted almost completely by further research, it would take a lot of time and money, again, to do so. Finally, it lacks completion – eg: any increase in the size of the sample and/or questions and/or different wording of questions would have produced entirely different results.  This bloviated survey serves no purpose, other than to cull to all biases associated with each question. In other words, a position was chosen and researchers used only the information that supported their premise, leaving out everything that was contrary, even if it from various sources. After all, JustFacts isn’t the only source for truth. They also cited many proven fake news – Washington Post!!!

Meab
April 17, 2021 8:57 am

Question 7 is intentionally misleading. It asks about the AVERAGE income of MIDDLE-INCOME families during the Obama administration. That rose but if you ask about the MEDIAN income of ALL families, that STAGNATED. The average income of a particular class of people set by artificial income boundaries is not a valid measure of the overall strength of the economy. It’s TOTALLY BOGUS and indicates that the poll takers probably had a desire to spread a particular (false) message (or they’re just stupid). Just like the question on sea-level rise. Yes, the sea level is rising, but that isn’t the whoe story – it has been rising for more than 150 years since shortly after the end of the Little Ice Age.

Reply to  Meab
April 17, 2021 9:14 am

The average income of middle-income households (the middle quintile) is very similar to median income, and both are used to measure the income of the “middle class”: https://www.justfacts.com/income_wealth_poverty#introductory
 
Your belief that income “stagnated” is debunked in the article with these words and the following link: “Politicians, media outlets, and scholars often quote incomplete measures of income that give false impressions about income trends and inequality.” https://www.justfacts.com/income_wealth_poverty#inequality_politicians
 
Your statement that sea level rise “isn’t the whole story – it has been rising for more than 150 years” is stated in the article as such: “the average global sea level has been generally rising since 1860 or earlier.” Please read carefully before you comment.

meab
Reply to  James D. Agresti
April 17, 2021 1:23 pm

FLAT LIE, Agresti.

comment image

Note that at the start of Obama’s presidency, the inflation adjusted median income was a little over $62,000. At the end of his presidency, it was also a little over $62,000 after having sunk to $55,000. That is STAGNATION.

So, now the question is, did some dishonest person tell you to repeat your lie or did you make it up yourself?

WRT my second point, NOWHERE did the Poll question ask whether the Sea Level has been rising for 150 years. It’s totally misleading to ask if the Sea Level has been rising since 1990 clearly leading the person being polled to believe that Sea level rise started in 1990. Figure it out – by asking questions with arbitrary numbers presented as specifics pollsters can influence polls.

After rereading their totally ridiculous claim regarding overdose deaths (it’s off by ~ two orders of magnitude), I’m of the opinion that the authors of the poll are stupid and everyone (including you) who didn’t immediately question their “answers” is stupid too.

John Robertson
April 17, 2021 9:13 am

Polls are great.
If I had enough I could build a Tipi.
The answer is dependent on the question.
For many of those questions the lack of accurate or trustworthy “official numbers” makes it damn near impossible for the public to have any idea of the true state of things.
Now I do not trust any outfit that pretends to “have the truth”,but at least these pollsters listed their criteria and sources..
The take away ,for me.
Confusion reignth mightily.

So a society being continually lied to still manages to be near 50% informed as to the real state of affairs..
Our poor parasitic overload and their media minions need to really up their game.
Expect even more censorship.

markl
April 17, 2021 10:32 am

It’s going to take a long time ….. if ever ….. for people to get over the “HRC is going to win by a landslide according to the polls” debacle perpetrated by the MSM.

Doonman
April 17, 2021 10:53 am

Clearly, as shown in the results for all voters, 61% are not qualified to make decisions because their beliefs are false or they are ignorant.

Savvy politicians will therefore declare this survey a danger to our democracy and 61% won’t know the difference.

Kevin kilty
April 17, 2021 12:58 pm

James, I found this article and survey to be interesting. I really appreciate having the questions available for my review. You certainly stirred up some discussion.

Nicholas McGinley
April 17, 2021 4:01 pm

I wish the answers were all at the end so we could take the quiz ourselves.
Anyone know where we can take the quiz without being able to see the “correct” response?
(I use scare quotes because I am not confident that anyone making a quiz does not have erroneous beliefs of their own.)

Last edited 27 days ago by Nicholas McGinley
Tom Abbott
April 17, 2021 5:43 pm

From the article: “Question 21: Since the 1960s, what do you think has been the main cause of rising national debt? Military spending, social programs, or tax cuts?”

Tax cuts don’t cause the national debt to rise. Tax cuts stimulate the economy and bring in more revenue to the government because businesses are doing better and paying more taxes.

Biden doesn’t need to increase taxes. All he would have to do is allow the economy to grow by not imposing new taxes and regulations and by not crippling the fossil fuel industry.

If Biden took a hands-off attitude towards the economy everyone would be better off and the economy would boom. It was booming before the pandemic and now it’s trying to make a comeback, but Biden is starting to throw big obstacles in the path of a robust recovery.

Of course, socialists like Biden can’t resist meddling in the economy, so Biden will do the stupid things rather than the smart things and our economy and our incomes will suffer as a result.

The fall of 2022 can’t come soon enough.

John Endicott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 20, 2021 3:05 am

Indeed tax cuts do not increase the national debt and tax raises do not decrease it. The only thing that increases the debt is spending more than the government takes in and the only thing that decreases it is spending less than is being taken in. We don’t have a problem of taxes not being high enough, we have a problem of spending too much.

guard4her
April 17, 2021 7:35 pm

I suggest “deceived” is a more accurate term than “deluded”. People in general are ill-equipped to handle liars, at least I’m not so much, I want to believe until proven wrong. Civil society has to have trust to work. Constant lies in our face is historically a relatively recent development. I think we have collectively just not yet learned the difference between listening to the testimony of a regular companion and listening to an unknown talking head.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  guard4her
April 18, 2021 4:06 am

I think you make some *very* good points..

ResourceGuy
April 18, 2021 11:30 am

How about a few questions asking about long term climate change and medium and long term cycles in ocean temps? That would surely pick up a good segment of voters that don’t even know about rising seas as part of the interglacial period or 60 year cycles in the AMO. How many voters know that Antarctic sea ice can be increasing while the magic act sleight of hand has you focusing on finding the pea in the Arctic ice?

ATheoK
April 18, 2021 1:18 pm

inflation-adjusted average income rose by $5,300″

???
Just what did these loons use for “inflation-adjusted”?

Bush and Obama seriously gutted the Consumer Price Index used to calculate inflation for people’s incomes.
Especially where the the index is calculated based upon prices paid by the manufacturers for supplies versus what consumers are charged.

After that, I stopped reading.

Stephinie
April 19, 2021 4:39 am

This issue has become an important topic for discussion. There are many debates regarding this scientific survey on the political spectrum! We all the general public have always been noticing discrimination with racism and in the case of an election, most of the people are politically deluded with casting their vote. Recently, I have read an article on government racism and it resonated in my mind- you could visit this website link for more writing samples on different topics including sociology, psychology, political science, and so on. I think the government should rethink about general public in establishing their rights in the mainstream media.

ResourceGuy
April 19, 2021 1:43 pm

The income question appears to be purposefully misleading in order to gen up differences in results to pontificate over. I work with that data all the time and it is not usually presented or reported that way. They are fishing for results here.

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