A few weeks ago I posted an e-mail sent from a friend entitled “How Long Do We Have” and have since come to find out by a friend of this blog- “The Optimist”- that there were parts of the e-mail that were not accuarate according to a search on snopes.com he directed me to. While the source of the e-mail is a trusted friend of mine, I will admit that when the issue was brought to my attention yesterday, that our friend the “Optimist” was correct that there were parts of the e-mail that were indeed not 100% accurate and for this I apologize for misleading any readers. This is something I would never intentionally do.
Let’s examine the discrepencies according to snopes.com for clarification:
The population of the counties and square miles of area won by each Bush and Gore appear to be accurate. They are consistent with the election-result map published by USA Today on 20 November 2000.
The number of states won by each candidate is wrong, but the numbers given (29 and 19) imply this piece was written before the results of the Florida and New Mexico vote-counts were determined. The final tallies were 30 states for Bush and 20 for Gore.
Understandable discrepency given the Florida “recount” fiasco engineered by Gore to steal the election from Bush.
The quote from “Alexander Tyler” is very likely fictitious. His name was actually “Lord Woodhouselee, Alexander Fraser Tytler,” and he was a Scottish historian/professor who wrote several books in the late 1700s and early 1800s.
However, there is no record of The Fall of the Athenian Republic or The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic in the Library of Congress, which has several other titles by Tytler. This quote has also been cited as being from Tytler’s Universal History or from his Elements of General History, Ancient and Modern, books that do exist. These books seem the most likely source of the quote, as they contain extensive discussions of the political systems in historic civilizations, including Athens. Universal History was published after, and based upon, Elements of General History, which was a collection of Professor Tytler’s lecture notes.
Again, the words used are “very likely no record” but this is not conclusive.
The most glaring innacuracy in the original e-mail seems to be that the purported author Joespeh Olson “had no authorship or involvement in this matter.”
The other part that was innacurate was the county by county murder rate.
By calculating the murder rate for each county and then taking the averages, we find a murder rate (defined as number of murders per 100,000 residents) of about 5.2 for the “average” Gore county and 3.3 for the average Bush county. But since people, rather than counties, commit murders, a more appropriate approach is to calculate the total number of murders in the counties won by each candidate and divide that figure by the total number of residents in those counties. This more appropriate method yields the following average murder rates in counties won by each candidate:
There is a distinct difference between these two numbers, but it is nowhere near as large as the quoted e-mail message states (i.e., 13.2 for Gore vs. 2.1 for Bush). Note that the average of these two figures is 5.3, which, as expected, is very close to the reported national murder rate of 5.5.
That being said, original innacuracies aside, I stand by my original analysis in which I said:
This may seem an â??extremistâ? and point of view, but when one considers the fact that 50% of workers in this country pay no federal and state taxes and actually receive money back each year from the govt from the earned income tax credit and child tax credit and other entitlements and welfare subsidies coupled with the fact that the most productive citizens (who liberals refer to as the â??richâ?- i.e. any family with a combined income of greater than about $80,000 in the top income quintile) pay an excessive and disproportionately high ammount of total taxes- about 75% of all taxes- it becomes clear that we are, indeed, half way down what Hayak refered to as the â??road to serfdom.â?
Will history repeat itself or will we learn from it and ensure that it doesnâ??t?
Once again, my sincere apologies for not catching this. My fault. Thanks for pointing it out to me Optimist!