Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Arguing Against Oneself

In David Farrar's fit of pro property rights fisking, which I wrote about yesterday, DPF makes the following statement:

In fact, 46% of those “in poverty” in the US, actually own their own home.
DPF may not realise it, but he's arguing against himself here.

Unfortunately, he doesn't give us the source for his 46% figure, which strikes me as remarkably high (possibly because it comes unchecked from a right wing website? or possibly because US income poverty figures capture a significant number of retirees, who do own their own homes). However, taking the number at face value, it actually undermines his argument. After all, if property rights are all that is required to eliminate poverty then why do nearly half of those living in poverty in the United States own their own property? This alone - if Farrar's number is what it seems - would suggest that more factors contribute to poverty than an absence of property rights.

Of course, the point that DPF is trying to make is that there really isn't much poverty in the US after all.

If he really believes this DPF ought to spend some time in poverty free Compton or somewhere similar.

Or he might want to consider the fact that life expectancy for the "'"poor"'" in Harlem is less than the average life expectancy in Bangladesh.

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