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Remedial Statistics For The Bush Administration

I just came across this mention of another case of the EPA ignoring an executive order that eerily parallels the logic used to set aside the environmental justice order. Their philosophy is that as long as the mean looks good, it doesn't matter if the variance puts some people in really bad shape.

In late January, Inside EPA reporter Liz Heron obtained EPA documents through the Freedom of Information Act revealing that the agency failed to comply with two executive orders requiring it to study how the administration's mercury plan would affect children, minorities, and low-income populations.

"What they said to me was that they were trying to protect the entire population, so it wasn't necessary to look at the effects on specific population subsets," said Heron. "Their logic is that if their end goal will benefit everybody, it will help susceptible populations as well."

Come to think of it, this is more or less the logic of Bush's argument about the economy -- as long as GDP is growing, there's more total wealth around, so on average everyone is better off. It's irrelevant from his point of view that lots of people are out of a job and so aren't actually getting any of that extra wealth, which is concentrating in a few hands.


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