Friday, December 19, 2008

Scary Graph

The only thing the Mainstream Media is actually good at is fear-mongering. They are second-to-none when it comes to making wildly irresponsible assertions about what will kill you either immediately or at some scary, unknown but inevitable, time in the future.

Well, this blog is dying to be legitimized by Serious Journalists like epic-ly cockblocked Luke Russert (google his name; "cockblocked" is one of the suggestions), so we're going to do a bit of the Chicken Little routine ourselves. Here is a scary graph that we can neither contextualize nor analyze--but, guys, let's just say things don't look good:


What you just read was a tool that Journalists call "exaggeration for effect." Judy Miller, who is a bag, is especially well known for it, and when she did it it was even funnier.

So what does this graph mean? Well, we saw a link to it on Marginal Revolution, and those guys get to talk to Paul Krugman all the time, so it seems unlikely they'd pass along something that was pure horseshit. MR picked it up from Ezra Klein, who we aren't especially familiar with. He quotes CBPP, the firm responsible for the scary graph, and they write:

"If we continue current policies," they conclude, "the federal debt will skyrocket from a projected 46 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of fiscal year 2009 to 279 percent of GDP in 2050. That would be more than two and a half times the existing record (which was set when the debt reached 110 percent of GDP at the end of World War II) and would threaten serious harm to the economy."

What that means to us is that 300% of the population is going to rot in debtors prison like in the good old Russian days, where your only source of amusement will be cockblocking Luke Russert.

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