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Business is Always Better? Consider Health Care, says Amy

John Stossel writes: “I bet my readers $1,000 that they couldn’t name one thing that government does better than the private sector. I am yet to pay. Free enterprise does everything better.”

John Stossel must be blind.

Consider health care, for instance. Professor Douglas Amy of Mount Holyoke College looked into this issue; here’s an [...]

Those Poor Socialist Countries

Gene Berkman writes:

Rather than screw the poor, capitalism has created the most prosperous societies in human history. The socialist regimes are all charactized by depravation and loss of liberty. When government grows, it takes resources from the civilian economy, and makes everyone poorer.

From Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Statistics:

Life expectancy:

France [...]

NRA claim about Crime and Right-to-Carry States: Is it True? (Fact Check)

Yesterday, I noticed the recent Twitter posting of a disgraced former GOP chair:

“In right-to-carry states the violent crime rate is 24% lower than the rest of the US and the murder rate is 28% lower.”

A quick look at the latest available Uniform Crime Reports shows that this claim is not true. But I [...]

If Meth Use is Really an Epidemic, it’s a Pretty Lame One

Look through local news outlets around the country and you’ll find local police departments with anecdotal reports heralding the explosion of a “meth epidemic.”

But is the country really being struck by a meth epidemic? Not according to national statistics (click images to visit source data, provided by the Drug Enforcement Agency and the University [...]

Automatic License Plate Readers: Persistent Privacy Invaders with a 0.0047% Hit Rate that Don’t Stop Crime

The American Civil Liberties Union has recently released a report showing that license plate readers, mounted on police cars and designed to automatically scan plates and pull up associated driver information:

Are present in all 50 states of the USA; Add information to identify where cars are located and when they were located there; Are [...]

No, Actually, Most Terrorists Threatening the USA AREN'T Muslims

“Most terrorists are Muslim,” say the ultraconservative supporters of religious-based profiling and surveillance in America. The claim is resurfacing in the last week:

Christopher Cook, April 19 2013:

Whatever the specifics, the general fact is always the same: Not all Muslims are terrorists, but nearly all terrorists are Muslims…. Islamist terrorism is now a fact [...]

Which Messages Go Together? Ties in Liberal Political Gear from Zazzle

Because Irregular Times receives a significant number of readers for the tens of thousands of articles that have accumulated here over the last 18 years, just paying to keep the website going costs a significant amount. Because none of us who write for Irregular Times was born with a trust fund, we’ve got to get [...]

Statistics of the International Year Of Statistics

A list of statistics about the International Year of Statistics [...]

School Shootings are Less Likely than Asteroid Hits. No, You Don’t Have to Scare Your Kids.

When I picked up the Bangor Daily News this morning, I read columnist Sarah Smiley insisting that she “had to tell” her children about last week’s school shooting incident in Newtown, Connecticut. Adults absolutely have the right to feel the way they want to feel about the shootings in Connecticut. But do we “have” to [...]

With ProQuest Privatization of the Statistical Abstract, Individual People Can’t Even Buy What was Free

As you may be aware, one year and one month ago the U.S. government halted publication of the Statistical Abstract of the United States. This publication — which was available free of charge on the Internet via the U.S. Census Bureau — brought together thousands and thousands of pieces of information from across the federal [...]

Theologian Decries Increasing Maine Religious Freedom as a Threat to Religious Freedom

Once every ten years, the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies conducts a census, contacting the heads of all religious congregations in the United States and asking them to indicate how many people are members of their congregations. In any area, the number of non-affiliated people is simply the difference between the total of [...]