The Increasingly Difficult Process of Fact-Checking

Facts, opinions, reality, truth, objectivity, and now alternative facts and even recently, alternative events from which alternative facts can be derived (See Kellyanne Conway’s “Bowling Green Massacre.“) How refreshing it is to see accounts where thoughtful commentators try to attach as firmly as we know how to the world we inhabit!

Appendix C in Arlie Hochschild’s convincing answer to the question: “How can someone vote for Trump when doing so is against his/her economic interests?”, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right,  is the place to begin when speaking with someone who believes:

  1. The government spends huge aounts of money on welfare.
  2. People on welfare don’t work.
  3. The poor all get government handouts.
  4. Black women have more children than white women.
  5. Almost 40% of people work for government.
  6. The more evironmental regulations there are, the fewer the jobs.
  7. Economic incentives and rlaxed regulations are needed to preserve jobs in the energy industry.
  8. The economy does better under Republican presidents.

This book is a masterful demonstration that humans are much more complicated than can be captured in statistical tables.

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