LETTER: Facts cited in recent editorials are skewed

Mar. 19, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

To the Editor:

"The pen is mightier than the sword" is certainly a true statement, even though I'm not sure who wrote it.

Editorials recently published in The Sanford Herald, the latest one in Wednesday's Herald, opposing the minimum wage increase, and an earlier one endorsing the photo ID bill for voting, were two that I took issue with because of the facts they relied upon.

The editorial is the page for [writers'] opinions, so I certainly have no problems with them in the paper, but I do have a problem with where their facts and statements are coming from.

In the editorial about voter ID, they used stats and statements by N.C. Civitas, a conservative "think tank."

In Wednesday's editorial, the reference was the Heritage Foundation, another group of the same ilk. It is same group for which S.C. Tea Party Sen. Jim DeMint resigned his seat for a high-paying job.

These organizations' budgets are financed by the people and corporations who are pushing the same political philosophy that the group is supporting. Guess what would happen to an employee who came up with stats that support the opposite position?

It's like Republicans watching Fox Channel, or Democrats always looking at MSNBC. Their reasoning is simple. It reinforces their own beliefs and the "think tanks" on both sides do the same thing.

I know that the stats used in the editorial are skewed. How? Because I went on the Internet and looked up the average salary of all workers, skilled and unskilled, and it averaged around $30,000.

The editorial didn't use individual figures. It used household totals very conveniently and failed to mention how many people worked with their figures.

Most government agencies will be able to provide accurate information. And with the Internet, a lot of good information is available to every voting citizen.

At a time in our nation's history when we ought to be encouraging everyone to vote, the Republicans are hellbent on reducing the turnout with photo ID laws, which are aimed at preventing the blacks, the poor and the seniors from voting, and with their majority in North Carolina government will become law.

The readers need to be more aware of what they read, and from where the facts the writers are using are originating.

Robert O. Stone