Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Doublespeak In a The New York Times Headline

Here’s the headline from the print edition:

High, Low and In Between: Clocking

the Nation’s Gas Prices

In Arizona, Taxes Help Hold Down Costs


You’d almost think by reading this, that somehow the government is using taxes to help reduce costs at the pump.

But, of course, that’s exactly what is not happening.

Not surprisingly, it is the absence of taxes that is holding costs down.

… Prices … at filling stations across the country … pinpointed Tucson as having the nation’s cheapest average price for a gallon of regular, partly because of relatively low state and local gas taxes.

It’s much more important to falsely trumpet that an omnipotent and benevolent government is helping people fill their tanks with its taxation superpower, than to note prominently that people in a flyover state have a different way of doing things.

You can read the whole thing on page A14 of the print edition from April 13, or click here.*

* One bizarre thing about the article: it repeatedly refers and links to different web sites with the text “web site” rather than just the name of the site. What are they afraid of?

BTW: those fearsome sites are GasBuddy, AAA, and TusconGasPrices.

This is not exactly required, but it does fit into an unsaid part of my “Why Is Macroeconomics So Hard?” lecture: outright lies.

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