Please note, this isn’t a criticism of the people of Italy or the country itself. In my youth I had the occasion to the Italy, I found it to be a beautiful country, with beautiful and diverse people.
Leftists just can’t help themselves. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking climate, economics, or politics, they simply repeat lies as if it somehow makes them true by repeating them. The NY Times, of course, has perfected this tact.
Eduardo Porter didn’t just repeat a lie, he repeated several, he used it to slip into delusional absurdity wishing to take everyone else on his fantastic trip to an alternate universe.
He writes in a recent column,
Italy may be in a funk, with a shrinking economy and a high unemployment rate, but the United States can learn a lot from it, and not just about the benefits of public health care. Italians live longer. Their poverty rate is much lower than ours. If they lose their jobs or suffer some other misfortune, they can turn to a more generous social safety net.
Every developed country aspires to provide a better life for its people. The United States, among the richest of all, fails in important ways. It has the highest poverty and the highest infant mortality among developed nations. …..
No wonder we can’t afford to keep more children alive. In 2007, the most recent year for which figures are available, the United States government spent about 16 percent of its output on social programs — things like public health, food and housing for the poor. In Italy, that figure was 25 percent.
I’ll get to the lies in a minute. Porter is advocating we become more like Italy! He advocates higher taxes not just for the wealthier, but also for the middleclass as well! He describes Italy as being in a funk. A funk?!?!?! They’re on the brink of total economic collapse and only continue by being propped up with Eurozone money! They’re in the mess they are in because of their taxing and enhanced social programs. Why do leftists ignore the reality of economics? This guy is supposedly an experienced economic journalist!
Porter got much of his information from the OECD. Dan Mitchell describes the OECD thusly…..
Supporters of individual liberty and national sovereignty have been skeptical of the United Nations, and with good reason. With the support of statists such as George Soros, the U.N. pushes for crazy ideas such as global taxation and global currency.
But there’s another international bureaucracy, also funded by American tax dollars, that is even more pernicious. The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has the same leftist ideology as the U.N., but it actually has some ability to change policy.
Now, these two lies have been thoroughly debunked. The OECD’s calculation of infant mortality misses several factors in their calculation, but mostly they blow by not making allowances for the different ways different countries report infant mortality.
Elizabeth MacDonald probably states how this is a lie most clearly…..
WHO says a live birth is when a baby shows any sign of life, even if, say, a low birth weight baby takes one single breath, or has one heartbeat.
The U.S. uses this definition. But other countries do not — so they don’t count premature or severely ill babies as live births-or deaths.
The United States actually counts all births if they show any sign of life, regardless of prematurity, or size, or duration of life, notes Bernardine Healy, former director of the National Institutes of Health and former president and chief executive of the American Red Cross.
And that includes stillbirths, which many other countries do not count, much less report.
Also, what counts as a birth varies from country to country. In Austria and Germany, fetal weight must be at least 500 grams (1 pound) before these countries count these infants as live births, Healy notes.
In other parts of Europe, such as Switzerland, the fetus must be at least 30 centimeters (12 inches) long. In Belgium and France, births at less than 26 weeks of pregnancy are registered as lifeless, and are not counted, Healy says.
And some countries don’t reliably register babies who die within the first 24 hours of birth, Healy notes.
Norway, which has one of the lowest infant mortality rates, shows no better infant survival than the United States when you factor in Norway’s underweight infants who are not now counted, says Nicholas Eberstadt, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
The U.S. ranks much better on a measure that the World Health Organization says is more accurate, the perinatal mortality rate, defined as death between 22 weeks’ gestation and seven days after birth. According to the WHO 2006 report on Neonatal and Perinatal Mortality, the U.S. comes in at 16th — and even higher if you knock out several tiny countries with tiny birthrates and populations, such as Martinique and San Marino.
It is a complete fabrication to state “highest infant mortality among developed nations.”
The other lie is the U.S. has the “highest poverty” among developed nations. They’re not measuring poverty when they do that insipidly stupid calculation, they’re measuring wealth distribution relative to the individual nations. For a clearer explanation, we can go back to noted economist Dr. Mitchell……
You may be wondering whether the bureaucrats at the OECD who put together these numbers are smoking crack or high on crystal meth. Well, they certainly can afford lots of drugs since they get tax-free salaries (just like their counterparts at other international bureaucracies), but these numbers are the not the result of some ketamine-fueled binge.
Instead, the OECD is lying. The website refers to “poverty rate” and “poverty threshold” and “poverty measure,” but the OECD is not measuring poverty. Instead, they have concocted a new – and deliberately misleading – set of data that instead measures the distribution of income.
And if you’re wondering where they got this crazy idea, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that this is a scheme developed by the Obama Administration and it is designed so that “poverty” is only reduced if incomes become more equal, not if poor people become better off.
Even moderates such as Robert Samuelson recognize this is absurd, and here is some of what he wrote.
…the new definition has strange consequences. Suppose that all Americans doubled their incomes tomorrow, and suppose that their spending on food, clothing, housing and utilities also doubled. That would seem to signify less poverty — but not by the new poverty measure. It wouldn’t decline, because the poverty threshold would go up as spending went up. Many Americans would find this weird: People get richer but “poverty” stays stuck.
I had hoped that this country would have an honest dialogue about our economics. It’s almost impossible when you have these leftist rags and journalists deliberately propagating lies.