Lies, Damned Lies, and Deesha dot org

Why statistics truly can be used to prove anything

Let’s suppose there is a country called UnequalStan.

In UnequalStan, there are 2 people –  Gareeb, who earns $1/day and Amir, who earns $100/day.

By the World Bank’s definition, Gareeb falls below the widely accepted ‘Poverty Line’ and therefore, you could say that 50% (or 1 out of 2 people) in UnequalStan are poor.

Now let’s suppose that UnequalStan’s population increases by 3. You now have 5 people in living in UnequalStan. The new additions are Gareeber, Amirer & Bill Gates.

Gareeber earns 50 cents (or $0.50) / day, where as the other two earn $100/ day as well. So, applying the definition of ‘Poor’ as explained above, UnequalStan looks like this:

Poor

  • Gareeb
  • Gareeber

Rich

  • Amir
  • Amirer
  • Bill Gates

So kids, what is the change in poverty levels in UnequalStan? Is it:

  1. A reduction of 10% (going from 1/2 to 2/5 or from 50% to 40%)?
  2. An increase of 100% (because there was 1 person before, and now there are 2 )
  3. Farmers are dying in Vidharba
  4. Aishwarya Rai married a tree

Now since I am not a famed economist, and nobody calls me for conferences, my answer was 1 (although I was dying to answer 4 as well…)

However, apparently the correct answer is ‘2

From the above link, we can draw the following conclusions:

  1. The author of said article has a huge bias against the Congress
  2. The author is in favour state-sponsored murder
  3. The author is in favour of women getting the shit kicked out of them for going to a pub
  4. No matter how ‘intelligent’ somebody claims to be they are still human beings, subject to the regular human emotions, and capable of making an ass of themselves.
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9 comments

  1. Karl Marx

    You will be the first to lose your head when naxals come. You fcuk brahmin asoles are all the same

  2. Phoenix

    and just to add some more fun to this…

    http://siteresources.worldbank.org/SOUTHASIAEXT/Resources/223546-1189611264671/ind_aag.pdf

    Which says (I think) that the poverty ratio in 2005 was 29%….with a population of 1049.6 million = 317 million people….

    so that means the UPA government caused a ridiculous amount of poverty between 2004 and 2005, and then the proportion stayed constant, thereafter….if everybody’s numbers are correct.

    Conclusion – the only number that matters is my salary increment in June…

  3. Phoenix

    very well.
    Assuming a population of 1 billion in the year 2000 and a growth rate of 1.6%
    the total population in 2004 was 1,065,552,450.
    The population BPL in 2004 was, according to article, 270 million.

    Therefore, 2004 ‘poverty ratio’ = 25%

    Continuing to compound the population at 1.6%
    the total population in 2008 was 1,135,402,023.
    The population BPL in 2008 was, according to the article, 325 million

    Therefore, 2008 ‘poverty ratio’ = 29%

    Therefore increase in poverty ratio = 4%

    Not 20%

    Sensationalising stuff like Fox News doesn’t help anybody’s case.
    Is it a travesty that there are more people now than 4 years ago? Yes.
    But that’s one half of the equation. If I really wanted to quibble, I could have asked What is the change in the GINI Coefficient? Maybe everybody got poorer… so even though there are more poor people, everyone is equally poor. Which is even worse. Hooray

    In conclusion, alll are just numbers. Screw them all.

    Assumptions:
    Exchange rate of US Dollar/Rupee stayed constant

    Notes:
    I voted for the BJP in ’04
    I hate the Congress too
    But I voted for Sheila Dikshit
    The Congress is responsible for the mess India is in today
    The BJP improved the situation economically, but not communally.
    I am not a pseudo-secularist – I hate all religions equally. Hinduism is as shitty as Islam, and none of them are tolerant religions.
    Both the Congress and The BJP suck balls. Big hairy cow’s balls.
    If the choices in this election are between Fascism and Communism, as they seem to be, I choose neither.

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