Friday, December 02, 2005

You may have seen this Brad DeLong blog post, in which he points out that an attempt by Donald Luskin to compare deaths of U.S. troops in Iraq to homicides in Washington fails (miserably) because Luskin is too stupid to know the difference between a rate per month and a rate per year.

DeLong calls Luskin the Stupidest Man Alive.

But Luskin has competition.

Here's an (unbylined) article at World Net Daily:

Recently released crime statistics show the homicide rate in California is 265 percent higher than the death rate suffered by U.S. and British military personnel in Iraq.

According to the report "Crime in California 2004," compiled by California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, there were 2,394 reported homicides in the Golden State last year. That compares with 905 deaths of coalition forces in Iraq, chiefly Americans and Brits, during the same time period....

Well, there certainly were a lot more homicides in California than troop deaths in Iraq. So what's wrong with saying Cali's "death rate" is higher?

Oh, just this:

Population of California in 2004: 35,893,799.

Number of coalition forces in Iraq in 2004: approximately 161,900.

The California homicide rate (per 100,000 population) was 6.67.

The Iraq coalition death rate (per 100,000) was (approximately) 558.99.


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