Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The hermeneutics of data

I look at data from both sides now. An optimistic - as opposed to pessimistic - interpretation can usually be found. 47 thousand Americans are worth more than 20 million dollars today and this number is 62% higher than in 1998. Is widening gap between rich and poor a bad thing? SAT test scores are at their lowest level in over a decade but now the test is taken by 40% of minority students (Blacks) up 1/3 from 10 years ago. Are the widening income and education gaps bad things? No, no. As proof, in 1963, my starting salary was $5250; in 2008, the median household income is $50,200. The five’s, two’s and zero’s have moved considerably to the left over 45 years.

Two rights will make a wrong if we allow analysts to tell us that the opportunities for wealth and education have not expanded over the years. If our freedoms remain intact, so do our choices to succeed or fail. Two wrongs, not studying hard or not spending income wisely can never be right. I end with a couplet:

With all the answers, poor little ole’ me
Sits here in my reading chair, sipping tea.


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