Quote of the Day: How to Use Facts and Figures Properly

From the president of the United States, asked about the unemployment rate:

When we got those great reports, I kept saying—you know, those numbers were 4.2, 4.3—I said, for a long time, they don’t matter. But now I accept those numbers very proudly. I say they do matter.

This is laughable, but here’s the thing: I suspect that his supporters love this kind of attitude. After all, that’s how most of us treat information.¹ If it supports our opinion, we trumpet it. If it doesn’t, we dismiss it. That’s how normal people who want to win arguments deploy facts and figures, and Trump’s fans view him as a normal guy who wants to win, not some academic egghead.

Bottom line: Donald Trump may be an asshole, but he’s our asshole.

¹Not you, of course. I mean other people.

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Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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