Sunday, March 7, 2021

Layers of Editors: How fast is PolitiFact's stupidity growing?

Uh-oh! PolitiFact's incompetence unfairly harmed a Democrat again! This time it was hapless Joe Biden who ended up with the short straw by PolitiFact's blinkered judgment.

PolitiFact explained that over the past 10 years the number of Hispanics increased by about 10 million, while the number of Asian Americans went up by 5.2 million.

Why is an increase, on average, of 520,000 per year a faster increase than about 1 million per year?

PolitiFact explains, sort of:

Biden said "the fastest-growing population in the United States is Hispanic." That’s incorrect: The fastest-growing group is Asian Americans, with Hispanics ranking second. Hispanics did record the largest numerical increase in population of any group between 2010 and 2019, but that’s a different measure than "fastest growing."

Instead of recognizing more than one measure of "fastest-growing," PolitiFact arbitrarily accepts one measure while rejecting the other.

But an increase of 1 million per year on average is a rate of growth, and arguably more useful than measuring rate of growth as a percentage of an existing population.

We pointed out on Twitter that PolitiFact's reasoning would suggest that a one foot tall tree that doubles in size is growing faster than a 50 foot tall tree that grows two feet during the same span of time.

Sure, the first tree may surpass the second tree in size if it continues to double in size year-by-year. But it will never happen unless the first tree starts to surpass the second tree in the number of inches of growth per year.


And the math works similarly for population growth. Unless Asian Americans start adding more population in absolute numbers than do Hispanics, the number of Hispanics will forever be greater than the number of Asian Americans. Forever. In fact, Asian Americans will not start closing the gap between the two populations until they start adding more people in raw numbers rather than merely in terms of percentage.

So who do these fact checkers think they are?

Update March 8, 2021: Added the link to the PolitiFact "fact check" in the second paragraph.


  1. Somebody tried to post this to the comments section:

    "Kudos for giving people the ability to comment. Politifact doesn't have a comment section. Gee, I wonder why?"

    PolitiFact has a Facebook page where it allows free commentary. It's pretty safe there for PolitiFact because it is mostly populated by PolitiFact sycophants who do not read the fact checks.

    We're happy to allow comments, but we did establish a rule forbidding the use of pseudonyms like "unknown," "anonymous" or the like. Call yourself "Ham Sammich" if you like and we'll publish that. But we're not going to host a debate featuring "unknown" vs. "unknown" with heckling from "anonymous" and "guess who." Unless that last one is the official identify of the Canadian rock legends.

  2. "Instead of recognizing more than one measure of "fastest-growing," PolitiFact arbitrarily accepts one measure while rejecting the other."

    Hey just like you!

    They also said:

    "According to Census Bureau data, the number of Asian Americans grew by 28.7% from 2010 to 2019, the most recent 10-year period of the census. The Hispanic population ranks second for growth, at 20%, narrowly surpassing Native Hawaiian-Pacific Islanders, at 19.6%."

    You are confusing oroportionate growth with total.

    1. Ryu238 (thanks for choosing a distinctive pseudonym!) wrote:

      **Hey just like you!**

      That doesn't follow.

      **They also said:**

      So what? How does that make Hispanic growth slower in nominal terms? PolitiFact does not recognize the latter. I recognize both and criticize PolitiFact for failing to do so.

      **You are confusing oroportionate growth with total.**

      You are confusing our non-confused exposition with confusion.


Thanks to commenters who refuse to honor various requests from the blog administrators, all comments are now moderated. Pseudonymous commenters who do not choose distinctive pseudonyms will not be published, period. No "Anonymous." No "Unknown." Etc.