The Solid Information Factor

Angry Bears are, I’m sure, familiar with the 27 % crazification factor. . Although a joke, it does pop up rather often in opinion polls.

I think there might be another constant — I am tempted to call it the sanity factor or sanification factor. It is the fraction of the general public which accepts a uncontestable fact which contradicts general prejudice.

For example, what fraction of US adults correctly answered “decreased …” when asked

CBS News/New York Times Poll, Sep, 2010
So far, do you think the Obama administration has increased taxes for most Americans, decreased taxes for most Americans, or have they kept taxes the same for most Americans?

This is a statement about the Federal tax code and how it had changed between January 20 2009 and September 2010 . It is not contestable.

Another uncontestable fact is that CBO estimates of the cost of the Affordable care act have been reduced since it was signed into law. What fraction of US adults know this ?

The answer is 8% .

ARRA tax cuts (search for “taxes” between 8/15/2010 and 10/1/2010 )

ACA costs

While looking for the ARRA tax cut link I found

Respondents were asked their impression of what
“most economists who have studied it estimate”
about the economic impact of the stimulus. Only
8% thought that most economists estimate it has
saved or created several million jobs. Eighty-eight
percent thought that most economists estimated it
has only saved or created a few jobs (68%) or
even caused job losses (20%).

The problem we have is that, even if only 27% of us are crazy, only 8% of us are paying attention.

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