April 2008 Archives

Things completed:

- Filled the bird feeder for the first time since last fall
- Prepare snowblower for off season (siphon fuel back to can, run snowblower dry)
- Change lawnmower oil
- Sharpen lawnmower blade
- Mow the lawn
- Clean up piles of leaves near driveway, air conditioner, and back porch steps (and put them in our new compost bin)
- Take hoses out of garage and hook them back up
- Change tires on the IS300 (store snow tires, put on summer tires)

Things yet to be completed:

- Pick up my roto-tiller from my sister
- Prepare garden area behind garage (till, mix in new soil, fertilize)
- Purchase garden fence and install it
- Plant seeds
- Water
- Purchase new mulch and spread
- Use the tiller in 'edger' mode to clean up the edges of the lawn near the driveway/sidewalk
- Trim bushes
- Trim trees (and call a tree trimmer to allow more sunlight by the garden and trim the maple away from the house)


So, CNN is reporting that a study shows single parents cost taxpayers $112 billion.

Of course, the observant reader will notice that the "... work was sponsored by four groups ... the New York-based Institute for American Values, the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, Families Northwest of Redmond, Washington, and the Georgia Family Council, an ally of the conservative ministry Focus on the Family."

As you might expect, when advocacy groups (of any political persuasion) support any kind of study, the outcome is strangely correlated with their agenda.

There is a good discussion of the particular trick used to achieve the result with this study in this post (at the Freakonomics blog).


"But the first law of advocacy science coincides with a well-known economic principle: any cost-benefit analysis that only looks at one side of the ledger will always come to a reliable conclusion."

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