August 25, 2007

More Fun with Numbers, from the NYT Business Pages

The Mickster performed the didn’t-need-to-be-heavy lifting on this sentence from Nick Bunkley’s August 22 reporting on the New York Times business pages:

Each of Pontiac’s 2,700 dealers sells, on average, just over one Solstice every two months, while each of Saturn’s 440 dealers sells about two of the Sky, which is produced in more limited numbers, every month. Pontiac plans to build 20,000 Solstices this year and is on pace to sell 18,000.

Kaus’s comment:

The Saturn Spin: Why isn’t the beautiful Pontiac Solstice selling as well as the less beautiful version of the same car, the Saturn Sky? The answer is that it’s not not selling as well …..

So the Solstice actually outsells the Sky, and not by a small margin. (According to this sentence, Pontiac sells more than 1,350 Solstices a month, while Saturn sells “about” 880 Skys.) This is a realization the piece’s author, the aptly named Nick Bunkley, is apparently trying to prevent. Why couldn’t he just give the straight sales figures for each model? Because it would get in the way of his narrative, which is that Pontiac is a “damaged” brand compared with Saturn.

That was too easy, Mickey.

Update: New David Cay Johnston Comment at Tuesday’s Post on His NYT Report

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:40 am

Folks, it’s here.

I’m not in a position to respond myself until this evening, if not later.

Unfortunately (in this case), I moderate comments, and may or may not be able to let them through until up to eight hours after they are made. I turned off comments here, because I’d rather folks respond at the original post.

10PM, August 25 — I have made a correction in the body of the original post that has the net effect of reducing the estimated impact of ignoring the Earned Income Tax Credit from $170 to $44, but identifying the effect of all other previously ignored credits (Child Tax Credit and several others) as $88. That leaves me wrong by $38 in the matter of tax credits ($170 – $44 – $88), and I am sorry for that error.

August 26, 9:30 a.m.: There is now a post showing that my core contention at the end of the original August 21 post (“while average pre-tax income may have fallen, average after-tax income has risen — even during the Times’ artificially induced period of analysis.”) is correct.

Positivity: At 88, Florida man becomes an Eagle Scout

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 8:05 am

From Ft. Myers, Florida:

Updated: 3:33 p.m. ET July 30, 2007

Service in World War II had prevented completion of course requirements

More than a half-century after he finished the requirements to earn the rank, an 88-year-old man was honored as an Eagle Scout on Saturday, making him possibly the oldest person to ever collect the honor.

Walter Hart couldn’t become an Eagle Scout at the time he earned the rank because his service in World War II got in the way.

“I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time,” said Hart, who lives in a retirement center in nearby Lehigh Acres.

Scout officials say he may be the oldest person to ever earn the honor.

Hart joined the Cub Scouts in 1928 in Malden, Mass., and earned 23 merit badges during his years as a Boy Scout, scouting officials said. Of the 120 merit badges available, 21 must be earned to qualify for Eagle Scout rank.

It all got set aside when he joined the Navy during World War II and served two years aboard the USS Alfred A. Cunningham.

Go here for the test of the story.