A new poll reveals that President Obama is almost certain to win re-election, according to a study published by the Democratic National Committee. In fact, the study proves that more than 98% of Americans intend to vote for the President. The study is based on a survey conducted by mail of a random selection of the organization's membership.
Okay, okay, I just made all that up.
No advocacy organization would be stupid enough to base predictions on surveys of its own members and then try to peddle those studies as anything else.
You don't hear about the Republican National Committee predicting the percentage of voters who will vote for Mitt Romney based on a mail in survey of its Republican membership.
You don't hear about studies of white attitudes published by the Ku Klux Klan based on surveys of KKK members.
You don't hear about political advocacy groups composed of Republican business owners predicting business trends based on some survey only of its own members.
Conservative political organizations composed of sub-groups of conservative businesspeople, a substrata of owners who favor certain policies, conduct surveys of those who favor those policies and discover that, surprising as it may seem, that those who favor those policies also tend to favor those policies.
The Chamber of Commerce does that. A lot.
So does an off-shoot started by Chamber staffers decades ago who felt the Chamber wasn't conservative enough in attacking Franklin D. Roosevelt's policies. They call themselves the National Federation of Independent Business. They lobby for conservative policies and back Republican candidates for office. They publish statistics all the time showing that business owners back the policies their members want in place. Almost all those studies are based on surveys of their members. So they find that their members favor the policies favored by their members.
You see how taxes and regulations hold back the economy?
If you look carefully at the study, you can find in a different section this statement: This report is based on the responses of 736 randomly sampled small businesses in NFIB’s membership, surveyed throughout the month of August. So the study finds that the members of the National Federation of Independent Business happen to have the same concerns as the members of the National Federation of Independent Business. At least those who answered the survey do.
That is not all the National Federation of Independent Business does, of course. They sometimes locate other surveys that tend to ignore the reality based world. For example, an analyst at an accounting firm ran some numbers on raising taxes on business owners. The fellow was interested in attacking the idea of raising taxes. He included in his definition of "small business" a whole lot of people we normally don't think of as businesses. Movie starlets, book authors, tax accountants, marketing consultants: in other words, self employed folks who don't employ and won't employ anyone else. President Obama was counted as a small business. So was the retired Mitt Romney. Nothing wrong with that. If you're self-employed you do employ yourself. And he didn't include any of the proposed Obama tax cuts and other programs for small business specifically aimed at employment.
Other more reputable surveys conclude the Obama proposals would dramatically improve employment.
But, that's the sort of thing that the National Federation of Independent Business does. It looks for bogus surveys to back it's policies. It polls itself and finds that it also backs its policies.
Now, in fairness to the National Federation of Independent Business, they are not the only ones who use dishonest statistics. Consider this statement during a recent national debate:
Romney: And your plan is to take the tax rate on successful small businesses from 35 percent to 40 percent. The National Federation of Independent Businesses has said that will cost 700,000 jobs.
Oh, by the way. Family members recently conducted a scientific study, that happened to be composed of those Deming family members who responded, and found who most Americans consider to be the best blogger anywhere.
That person was:
Manifesto Joe of Texas Blues.
Okay so these studies sometimes have unanticipated results.
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