Talk for Article "Fact check: Bernie Sanders’ claims about the status of the US economy"

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    Is it possible to link or embed his tweet at the top, just so people can see exactly what he said before they start seeing the fact checking? I know there’s already a link to the tweet but it would be nice to see even just a direct quote in the article.

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      Hi Kat, this is really a great suggestion and should be a fixed ” feature” on each fact checking report, I took a note and will forward your suggestion to the team, if you are on our Slack please post it there as well. thanks!

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    DU
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    OK, I was eventually able to find the questionnaires for two reports. As I suspected, the relevant questions were vastly different and should never be conflated since these will have different responses. E.g. of questions: From the Fed survey. “Suppose that you have an emergency expense that costs $400. Based on your current financial situation, how would you pay for this expense?” https://www.federalreserve.gov/publications/files/2017-supplement-economic-well-being-us-households-201805.pdf E.g. of a relevant ALICE survey question (obtained from ACS survey) “At this house, apartment, or mobile home – do you or any member of this household own or use any of the following types of computer?” https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/methodology/questionnaires/2018/quest18.pdf Notice the wording: “you *or any member of this household*” Many of the ALICE survey’s questions use this kind of language. So you can’t conflate these two data sets as Sanders has done. Wording is crucial for understanding surveys.

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      Great work digging those up!

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    DU
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      DU
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      No, it can also mean inaccurate about what the number refers to. You seem to be caviling about what “inaccurate” means instead of engaging in the issue.

      But if inaccurate is too strong, I've changed it to "not fully accurate." False is stronger than inaccurate and I chose not to use it in favor of inaccurate. But "not fully accurate" is less strong than either of these phrases.

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        DU
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          DU
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          An individual is one person. A household can be many. I think most native English speakers understand the distinction.

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            DU
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              Hi everyone, This fact check seems to be in good shape. Can someone post a link to the report from the Alice project where it establishes the 43% figure refers to households? Thank you.

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              We can’t fact-check whether or not Bernie Sanders *meant* to refer to households or individuals here. But the extra context provided by Nick adds nuance to the interpretation of that line in the tweet. Nuance is good, as is exactness.

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                DU
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                DU
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                  DU
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                  “Can anyone else comment on my point that the percentage would be the same regardless of whether it’s households or individuals? ” This assumption doesn’t make any sense. Why would you assume it? Think about it; single adults may very well be able to afford all the necessities for life. But people in households (often with dependents like children) might not with the exact same income. Why? Because they often have kids adding much more expense like childcare, additional healthcare costs, food, school materials etc. I thought this point is obvious.

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                    DU
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                      DU
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                      Single adults might be counted as households but households with children are NOT counted as single adults. Sanders EXPLICITLY said “Americans” and “adults,” not households.

                      The median income for households is 59,000 dollars a year in the US while for adults it is much less. Why? Because many households have more than one breadwinner. It can also be said of expenses. Since households will have on average more dependents.

                      So when he changes from one kind of category to another, he needs to explicitly mention that or else it gives an inaccurate picture. He didn't do that.

                      It seems to me that you have some sort of political bias instead of impartial fact checking to motivate your criticisms.

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                      DU
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                      DU
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                      Again, you are assuming that the parameters are the same for both studies and yet you provided NO evidence to back that up. Asking a question such as “Were you able to cover your own medical expenses?” is different from asking “Were you able to cover the expenses of your household?” From the Federal Reserves website it seems to ask the first question to obtain the relevant response. There is no indication that the United Way asked the same question in the same way.

                      You are the on that is reading words into his tweet. You are assuming that his claims are referring to the exact same parameters when they are from two different surveys with no indication that they had the same questions. That's why I rated his statement not accurate because he did not indicate he switched from one kind of data set to another.

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                  I had the same thoughts when reading it. First of all, it’s an assumption to say he meant individuals. Secondly, the percentage of individuals would be higher (some households have 1 adult, some have multiple adults who collectively can afford but separately cannot, some have multiple adults who can’t afford collectively and therefore cannot separately either).

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                    DU
                    Deleted User

                    False. It’s not an “assumption”. It’s an inference from the context. Bernie did not state explicitly what he meant but his previous statement and the one after explicitly said American adults giving a false impression (though perhaps unintentionally) that the 43% refered to this category.

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    DU
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      DU
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      “Inaccurate” does not imply intentional deception. The reason I used the word was because he did not say “households” and if you look at the context in which he used it, he was talking about individual people in the other two instances (which he specifically used the words “Americans” and “adults”). However as the link showed, the number of 43% does NOT apply to individual adults but to households. Please refer to the links I have provided.

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    I found this source from federal reserve to very helpful to fact check Claim # 1 https://www.federalreserve.gov/publications/files/2017-report-economic-well-being-us-households-201805.pdf

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