“Figures don’t Lie, but Liars Figure”

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 5th, 2014

Week in Review

There’s an old saying by Mark Twain that goes like this.  “Figures don’t Lie, but Liars Figure.”  Which basically means you can make statistical figures say anything you want them to say.  For example, here are two statistics that make it sound like black fathers are better parents than white fathers (see Harper’s Index posted April of 2014 pm Harpers Magazine).

Percentage of white live-in fathers who help their children with their homework daily : 28

Of black live-in fathers who do : 41

Almost half of all live-in black fathers help their children with their homework.  While only 28% of white live-in fathers do.  So black fathers are better parents than white fathers.  At least, these statistics would seem to say so.  But it’s what these statistics don’t say that will change the conclusion these two statistics appear to make.

First of all, children who receive more help with their homework will do better in school.  For their children will be doing their homework if their dad is there helping them.  So the homework is getting done.  And if children have trouble understanding something their dad is their clarifying and explaining things.  So these children are going to do better in school.  And a larger percentage of them will graduate from high school.  As students who work hard and do their homework are more likely to graduate than those who don’t.  So, do the statistics for high school graduation rates show that black live-in fathers are doing a better job helping their kids with their homework?  No.  According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (see National public high school graduation rate at a four-decade high by Lyndsey Layton posted 1/22/2013 on The Washington Post), high school graduation rates were 83% for whites and 66.1% for blacks.

Learning abilities are the same for both blacks and whites.  So you can’t say that whites are smarter than blacks.  So is there something else that can explain the difference in graduation rates?  Yes.  The inability to make kids do their homework.  For if they’re not doing their homework they’re not progressing through high school.  And many just drop out.  But according to the statistics more black live-in fathers are helping their kids with their homework than white live-in fathers.  So how is it that blacks have a lower high school graduation rate?  Because of something the statistics don’t show.

According to Census data (see Social and Economic Characteristics of Currently Unmarried Women With a Recent Birth: 2011 posted on census.gov), the percent of out-of-wedlock births was 29.2% for whites and 67.8% for blacks.  Less than a third of white children are born out-of-wedlock.  While just over two-thirds of black children are born out-of-wedlock.  To single mothers who struggle to both work and raise their children.  Leaving them little time to help them with their homework. And because these mothers are single and working their children may be home alone.  And more likely to get into trouble.  Not do their homework.  And drop out of school.

So the higher rate of children born out-of-wedlock would explain the lower high school graduation rates for black children.  While the percentage of black live-in fathers helping their children is skewed.  For it’s only 41% of the 32.2% (100% – 67.8%) of black fathers who stayed in the home to help raise their children.  While it’s 28% of the larger 70.8% (100% – 29.2%) of white fathers who stayed home to help raise their children.  (Assuming born in-wedlock means the same as live-in father.  Of course a child could be born in-wedlock only to see his parents divorce later making his or her mother a single mother.  However, with child support and alimony payments a percentage of these single mothers would not have to work and thus be able to spend more time with their child.  So a divorced mother probably would not have to struggle as much a single mother who was never married.  Especially if the divorced parents are older when they start their families and the husband has an established career providing the financial resources that allows the divorced mother to stay at home with the children).

Crunching these numbers for 1,000 fathers you get about 131 black fathers and 779 white fathers (blacks are approximately 13.1% of the population and whites are approximately 77.9%).  Of these 131 black fathers about 42 (32.2%) are live-in.  And of these 779 white fathers about 552 (70.8%) are live-in.  Bringing us to approximately 17 (41%) black live-in fathers who help their children with their homework.  And approximately 154 (28%) white fathers who help their children with their homework.

So, if you look at the total number of live-in fathers helping their children with their homework (17 and 154) the number of white live-in fathers doing so is approximately 793% greater than black live-in fathers.  Or for every black live-in father helping his child with his or her homework there are about 9 white live-in fathers helping their children.  Which sounds like white fathers are spending more time helping their children with their homework.  Which they are because there are more white fathers than black fathers.  In a random sample of 1000 fathers there would be approximately 6 white fathers for every black father.  Based on the demographics of the population.

So we have looked at statistics in numerous ways.  Proving once again that “figures don’t lie, but liars figure.”  Or that you can make statistics say anything you want them to say.  So you should always be suspect when people use statistics to support their argument.  Because there is a lot of interpretation the number crunchers make with the data.  A lot of assumptions.  And are often a selective and subjective in their use of the data.  Especially when it’s the government uses those statistics to justify new spending, new taxes, new regulations, etc.  Because these are the people who truly figure with the numbers.  They did it in the days of Mark Twain.  And they still do it today.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Liberal Democrats’ War on the Black Family keeps Blacks Poor and Dependent on Government

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 12th, 2013

Week in Review

The surge of liberalism during LBJ’s Great Society marked the decline of the black family.  Following the Sexual Revolution encouraging women to explore and enjoy their sexuality young women did.  And a lot of them got pregnant.  Which is when the Great Society stepped in and took care of these single mothers.  With Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).  And grouping them together in crime-ridden public housing.  Telling the fathers don’t worry about your babies.  We’ll take care of them.  So many boys grew up without fathers in crime-ridden public housing with other boys growing up without fathers in the same crime-ridden public housing.  Boys who got into trouble.  And took that trouble to school.   Creating broken families.  And broken schools.  In the inner city.  Which was predominantly black.  Causing the Great Society to hurt poor black families more than other poor families.

Kids attending broken schools do not get a good education.  And kids from families broken by liberal Democrat policies do not do their homework.  Hurting their earning potential.  And keeping them dependent on the government.  Once a kid starts down this path it will be very difficult to leave it.  For once you let your English and math skills fall behind others your age you just won’t achieve what they will (see Children’s future earnings predicted from age nine by Nick Collins posted 10/7/2013 on The Telegraph).

Future earnings of children can already be predicted by the time they are nine simply by looking at English and Maths scores, according to a new study…

A mathematician from Harvard University found that children’s grades in English and Maths could help predict their likelihood of going to University at age 20, and their average earnings at 28…

Prof Gary Chamberlain analysed hundreds of records from thousands of classrooms across 866 schools in Tennessee, which dated from the school years 1988-89 to 2008-09.

The data proves this (see Only 5% of Black Students Graduate High School Ready for College based on ACT Scores posted 8/24/2013 on Pithocrates).  Those with the highest number of out-of-wedlock births (blacks) have the lowest high school graduation rate, the lowest ACT scores and the lowest median family income.  While those with the lowest number of out-of-wedlock births (Asians) have the highest high school graduation rate, the highest ACT scores and the highest median family income.

Family matters.  And those who study hard, go to college, establish a career, get married THEN have their children do better than those who party more than study while in school.  And kids with a single parent are at a great disadvantage as they have only half the parenting available to get them to do their homework.  As well as to discipline them and to instill a work ethic.  Doing homework isn’t fun.  But if they don’t do their English and math homework they just won’t have as successful a career as others who do their homework will.

The reason why black families continue to struggle after 40 years of Great Society programs that were to fix everything that was wrong is that the left exploits them to win elections.  With liberals accounting for only about 21% of the electorate they have to put together coalitions of voting blocks.  And with blacks about 13% of the population that’s a nice voting block to take for granted.  All the left has to do is to keep destroying the black family and convince them that they can’t get by without their liberal programs.  Which isn’t that hard to do when the liberals control our public schools.  Where they even pass out free birth control.  And provide access to abortions without parental notification.  Destroying the family anyway they can.  And replacing the family with government.  Just like they did with AFDC and that crime-ridden public housing.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Only 5% of Black Students Graduate High School Ready for College based on ACT Scores

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 24th, 2013

Week in Review

The left keeps saying we need to have a discussion on race in this country.  By that they mean they don’t want to have a discussion on race.  They just want to keep saying this as they turn any incident into a racial incident.  Thus keeping the races apart, not together.  Why?  Because if there is racism in this country then there is a need for them to end racism in this country.  Which they do with a bloated and growing government bureaucracy at every level (city, county, state and federal).  And how has that worked for black Americans?  Not well (see Latest ACT test results reveal huge race gap as only 1 in 20 African Americans students ‘fully ready’ for college by ASSOCIATED PRESS posted 8/21/2013 on the New York Post).

Just a quarter of this year’s high school graduates who took the ACT tests have the reading, math, English and science skills they need to succeed in college or a career, according to data the testing company released Wednesday.

The numbers are even worse for black high school graduates: Only 5 percent are fully ready for life after high school…

When the testing agency broke down the results by race, fault lines emerged. Just 5 percent of black students are ready for college work in all four areas. Among American Indians, 10 percent are ready in all subjects, while 14 percent of Hispanics are ready. Pacific Islanders post a 19 percent readiness rate for all four subjects. White students have a 33 percent rate, and 43 percent of Asian-American students are ready for studies in all four subjects.

No surprise, really.  For the government helps no group of people more than impoverished black Americans.  And after over 40 years of trying life has gotten worse for them.  Not better.  And the data bear this out.

The key to wealth and prosperity is a college education.  Doctors and engineers can become wealthy and prosperous.  But to get to college you have to do well in high school.  If you look at data from the past few years (see High School Graduation Rates, Out-of-Wedlock Births and Median Family Income posted 7/25/2013 on Pithocrates) you see a similar trend in high school graduation rates as you see in ACT test results.  Asians graduated high school 93% of the time.  Whites graduated 83% of the time.  While blacks only graduated 66.1% of the time.  Is it because Asians are genetically smarter than whites and blacks?  No.  It’s because of the Asian family.

Asians have the lowest out-of-wedlock births at 11.3%.  While whites come in at 29.2%.  And blacks come in at 67.8%.  Children that have a mother and a father do better in school.  Because they have more parental supervision at home.  Twice as much as a single-parent household.  Two-parent households are pushing their children to do their homework.  To do well in school.  So they can score high on the ACTs (and SATs).  So they can go on to college.

A lot of single mothers are heroes.  Sacrificing so much in their life for their children.  But it’s hard. Much harder than a two-parent household.  Where you can have a full-time income earner.  And a full-time stay-at-home parent.  Where two are sacrificing for their children.  Instead of one.  While providing a powerful male role model.  Which is why more Asians are graduating and going on to college than whites and blacks.  Especially blacks.  Which is probably the discussion we should be having.  What destroyed the black family?  Who took the father out of the black household?  Something facilitated that.  And it wasn’t racism.  Was it the coarsening of society?  A bloated welfare state?  A nonjudgmental attitude?  Finding racism even where it doesn’t exist?  All of the above?  Perhaps.  For it was something.  It just didn’t happen.

When there was horrible segregation blacks fought and suffered to go to college.  Today 95% of black high school kids just don’t care.  So what’s different between then and now?  The disintegration of the black family.  And LBJ’s Great Society.  Which tried to do good.  But only ended up destroying the black family.  By replacing black fathers with Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).  And placing single-mothers into housing projects.  Where groups of fatherless children joined together in gangs.  Got into trouble.  And took that trouble into their schools.  This is how it started.  With government.  And now the Democrats exasperate it.  Why?  Because it gives them the opportunity to be the party trying to end racism.  Giving them the black vote.  Which is all they want.  And they just don’t care about the lives they destroy in the process.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,