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Monday, October 11, 2010

Deflating a Meme

Oct 11th, 2010

Some Dumb Chart
In case you hadn't noticed, the latest shrill shriek from the rabid right is in response to this AP story. Dead people and criminals got stimulus payments. It does sound bad... if all you care about are talking points. 

Here's some up-side-your-head analysis that puts the story into perspective.

From Josh Holland, writing over at AlterNet:
"Here’s the deal. The one-time stimulus payments — $250 a pop — were sent to 52 million people. Of that number, 72,000 had died relatively recently. That works out to .0014 of the payments sent, meaning 99.86 percent reached a living soul.
That’s not evidence of incompetence; it proves what common sense should suggest is obvious: any large instituion, public or private, sending mail to 52 million people will always send a small fraction — a 10th of one percent in this case — to the recently deceased."

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