A couple of days ago I had a somewhat snarky twitter exchange with Tom Fletcher of the Black group.
In my defence I was high as a kite and in bad humour, having just come out of sedation from an operation to trim an offensive tumour in my mouth.
What I reacted to was a tweet of Tom’s directing readers to a Fraser Institute study on income mobility accompanied by this message: “Further to the innumerate #bcpoli discussion of poverty: ‘Poor’ getting richer.”
To which I replied “Understanding how you can have both income mobility over time and growing inequality is high school economics.”
Now I know I should have said “how individuals can have income mobility over time while a society can have growing inequality” but unfortunately Twitter’s 140 typing things limits an intelligent discussion of economics.
Tom replied, a little more snarky than me, “Go pitch your Occupy tent @IanVancouver. It’ll be a lonely experience.”
And then I said, “You don’t have to be a wild lefty to reject the poor ‘research’ of the far right. See US election.”
And so on and so on.
One of the lessons I learned from this exchange is wait till the anesthesia completely wears off before typing ‘twitter.com’ into your internet bar.
The other is, a la the US election, fewer and fewer people are interested in a media that publishes crap that is so out of touch with their lived experience.
“Crap that is out of touch with lived experience” might in fact be the motto of the Fraser Institute.
So surprise! That Fraser Institute study turned up in the Sun today. And double surprise, it is a piece of crap that doesn’t show what it claims to show.
The CCPA has published an excellent debunking of the study, “The rich stay rich“. It’s clear that the Sun’s editors have not read this nor any of the thousands of papers on the internet about income mobility and the increase in inequality.
Or if they have they don’t care… “la, la, la I can’t hear you”.
Like Fox News too many media outlets in Canada would rather live in their own ideological bubble than think and write about the real problems people face everyday.
Too often this is true on the left, but it’s the right that seems to have institutionalized the blinkers. Maybe that’s because they own the institutions.
A couple of weeks ago I sat in on a panel about the US election. The panel was made up of a top Romney advisor and Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina.
The Romney advisor, of course, talked about the unforeseen failure of their campaign. And in part he ascribed it to the bubble that they lived in and shared with people like Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. That bubble was out of sync with the majority of voters but they refused to recognize it.
It was so bad that their internal polls were methodologically skewed to represent their world rather than the real world. That proved disastrous.
They never had, he said, a clue of what was coming.