1) ‘Studies show’ – what studies?
According to research, in order for a culture to maintain itself for more than 25 years there must be a fertility rate of 2.11 children per family.
If you meet an Irish man who is an alcoholic, however, it does not prove his claim since there are millions of other Irish men. Be wary of people who use anecdotes as evidence to prove a theory. Anecdotes can disprove theories, and can help add colour and insight to a situation, but are not enough in themselves.
4) Cherry-picked statistics are useless
Americans have a better survival rate for 13 of the 16 most common cancers than Europe. Take prostate cancer: 91.9 percent of men live through it, versus 73.7 percent in France and just 51.1 percent in Britain.
Beck was trying to show that 'European' socialised healthcare is worse than the American system. But by cherry-picking France and Britain, he carefully avoids Austria, where 86.1% of cancer victims survive, even with its heavily socialised health system. Shortly after Beck’s rant another report emerged showing that Finnish women have a higher cancer survival rate than American women – Finland also with a highly socialised health system.
Beck picks numbers out of the blue, numbers which sound impressive, but he does not place them in context. This is classic propaganda nonsense.
'IRELAND MUST “suffer” through at least five years of economic weakness before recovering to match average euro-zone growth, according Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman,' reads one Irish Times article from 2009. Yet another Nobel Prize-winning economist is Friedrich von Hayek, whose views radically differ from Krugman’s. So which Nobel Prize-winning economist are we meant to trust?
Neither, perhaps, without looking at the evidence they offer.
The same goes for people or organisations one usually disagrees with. Sometimes inconvenient arguments are dismissed because of the person they come from: ‘typical right-wing propaganda’, ‘known Communist-apologist’, etc. Arguments should not be dismissed because of the person who makes them, but rather because of their weak evidence or logic.