Lie of Averages

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OK. Here's what I call "the lie of averages". It's a math trick often used by politicians (most of the left ones) to delude their followers, into thinking something is the opposite of what it is. For example they claim California taxes are lower than other places in rate, when in dollars it is far more. Or they'll claim administration costs on Medicare is lower than private healthcare, because as a percentage it is - but only because the payouts per case are so much greater: in dollars per case handled, they're far worse.


Let's say in Cali, Person (A) makes $500K. Persons (B) and (C) make $50K each, while in Texas 3 people all make $100K. California will claim that Californians make twice as much and are rich. In truth, twice as many people are poor in California than in Texas.

Then remember reality. In Cali, Person (A) is has a small house in Atherton ($4.5M average home price, for a shack compared to Texas) which means about $20K/month mortgage ($200K/year), the $500K is taxed at about a 45% ($225K), $45K/year in property taxes, and that leaves $3K a month for living expenses, in a state/city where everything seems to cost 50% more. Suddenly, the reality is quite different than the fantasy.

On the other hand, the 3 people in Texas, each can afford a nice house ($946/month mortgage, $3,500/year in property taxes, and they have lower state income, sales taxes, and everything costs about 1/3rd less. They can live below their means, have nice savings. So who is really better off?

And this isn't just in housing and property tax, but in many other like buried taxes that people don't calculate like sales tax, state income tax, cars and registration, energy, and so on.

Diving deeper... you can hear things like California the average property tax in California is $2,839.00 per year versus $3,483 or some such in Texas. Only you're not average, you're median for your area (not mean for the state).

The median home size in San Francisco (SF) is <1,000 sq ft. (and $1.7M). In Ausin, it's 1,800 sq ft and $380K. So at twice the tax rate in Austin, you're living in nearly twice the space and paying less than half as much in property taxes. So liars will say, "SF is half the tax rate of Austin in taxes"... and in truth, you know in SF you paid $25K in property tax, and in Austin it was $11K -- and you lived in twice the size place.


Then there's other stuff on top where they hide taxes (regulations and assessments are really just taxes under another name):

Our water bill in California is $155/month for 7 units of water. Our water bill for our 4-plex in Reno is $24 for 11 units of water. On top of that, much of those "assessments" and "Fees" in California aren't called taxes. So California is 10x the price (1000% more taxes) -- but most of that won't be accounted for, because they weren't "taxes", just special assessments and grants to water companies based on regulations. But anyone that's lived in both places knows better.

Gasoline is 50% more in California. Not all of that is taxes, it's because of regulations, standards, and incompetence. (California makes it harder to build refineries and drove most out, so we have to refine it elsewhere, and ship it in, at cost to us). Is that a tax? Yes it is, even if it isn't officially. Instead the asshats will lie to rubes and claim relative to miles of roads, or some other invented metric, California has the lowest taxes on Gasoline, and aren't you lucky to pay more than just about anywhere else except Hawaii?

So all that chart shows is that you can lie to some of the people, all of the time, and if they aren't smart enough to do use cases or think through the problem (use critical thinking, skepticism, and all that stuff), they'll repeat things like, "California is a low tax place to live". While anyone that actually lived there and lived elsewhere in most of the country, laughs out loud at that.

Not un-related

A similar but slightly different flam-flam with numbers is medicare administration costs.

Medicare administration costs

The left will dupe their rubes/base by claiming Medicare administration costs are a fraction of private healthcare... they don't tell you they spend more per patient or case handled. Wait, what? Here's how their prestidigitation works:

  • Private insurance is $5K per patient, and $300 of that is administrative costs, it looks like administration is 6% of costs.
  • Medicare is about $15K per patient and $400 in administrative costs for Medicare, it looks like the percent is lower on medicare (2.6%).

But in truth, it is costing you much more per patient, especially in administration. You're losing money on every patient handled, especially when you remember the person on private healthcare is getting better coverage (less rejections and delays, and more satisfaction). And this is just the tip of the flam-flam. more...


You either live in one of the cities with jobs, and then it's far more than the average costs, both in rate and amount. Or you're poor and inland, and struggling not because of the tax rates, but cost of living (and cost of regulations) is suffocating you. California has lots of rich and lots more poor. Thus lying with averages is easy.

The more outliers you have in a sample set, the more misleading the average is. In California the average masks the outliers, but everyone is an outlier.

The land of intolerance, hypocrisy and progressivism... but I repeat myself. This article lists some examples of the intolerance, incompetence, and progressivism that has come to exemplify the Golden State. (NOTE: While the Golden State once referred to the color of the dried grass hills so common in California, it now refers to the vagrant urine covered streets of San Francisco or L.A.)



📚 References