Clinton Was Right: Dems 41 Million Jobs, Reps 21 Million Jobs

I love the phrases “Flying by instruments,” or “Data Driven”. Without a doubt it reflects my distrust of my own biases and prejudices, so I lean heavily to the analytical, to what can be tested and proven. The scientific method is just part of me.

So it’s no surprise that I thought one of the most interesting things to come out of the Democratic National Convention was Bill Clinton’s heavy in the policy and statistics speech. And what followed in the press was that Bill Clinton Was Right, according to US News and World Report, not known to be a bastion of the East Coast Media Elite.

In particular US News & World Report analyzed economic outcomes based on the party of the president. Since 1961 Democrats added 41 million jobs (Clinton rounded up to 42) while Republicans added about half as many at 21 million jobs. Now this was from the start to the end of each administration but that hardly seems fair. Surely some time is needed to change the jobs outcome. So the writer skewed to numbers to one year after the start of an administration to one year after it ended. In other words give an administration a year to let things kick in. Result: Dems 38 million, GOP 27 million.

This was only private sector jobs, which seems to me the Republicans would agree are the really good ones, or as I’ve heard argued, government can’t create jobs. But the writer checked total jobs, including government, again giving one year for administration policies to kick in and once again: Dems 44 million, GOP 34 million.

Another very interesting review, again not from the East Coast Media Elite (correct me if I’m wrong as I think use of this phrase is whining on the parts of conservatives so I’m not sure of the scorecard as to who is or isn’t in the “Elite”), is from Fox News in their story History Shows Stocks, GDP Outperform Under Democrats we learn that GDP (gross domestic profit), stock prices, and corporate profits are better under Democrats.

McGraw-Hill’s S&P Capital IQ analysis shows: Continue reading

Girl Named Florida

As I mentioned in the previous post, by adding the condition that a family with two children has a girl named Florida the odds go from 1:3 to 1:2 that the other child is a girl.

Florida was one of the top 1000 female names between about 1900-1930 according to Mlodinow and the Social Security office. But now let’s say it’s a 1:1,000,000 name for girls. The possibilities for families include (assuming they won’t have two girls named Florida): (b,b), (b,n), (b,F), (n,b),(n,F), (n,n), (F,b), (F,n), where b=boy, n=girl not named Florida, F=girl named Florida.

Since we know the family has a girl named Florida we can throw out (b,b), (b,n), (n,b), and (n,n). That means there are 4 ways to have two children families with a girl named Florida, (b,F), (n,F), (F,b), and (F,n), two ways with boys and two ways without.

For more nuanced analysis of this problem check out:
There once was a girl named Florida (a.k.a Evil problems in probability)
Two-Child Paradox Reborn?

Odds of a Girl

I read great new book called The Drunkard’s Walk which is essentially about how the random effects our lives more than we imagine. He had a number of interesting examples of how to think in these terms, all pointing to the importance of asking the right questions and thinking about how to answer it right ways.

For instance if you ask, “A family has two children, one of which is a girl. What are the chances the other one is too?” The answer is 1:3. That’s because we know there are the following combinations possible in birth order: (girl, boy), (girl, girl), and (boy, girl). The (boy, boy) combination is ruled out by what was said about the family. So three equal possibilities, odds are 1:3 that the family would be (girl, girl).

Ah but what if one of the children were named Florida? What then of the odds? It turns out to be 1:2. I’ll show you how in my next post.