More on “50% of American Kids Receive Food Stamps”

Commenter Michael linked to a blog by somebody called The Last Psychiatrist, discussing the recent study by Rank and Hirschl estimating that half the kids in America in the 1970s were on food stamps at some point in their childhood. I’ve commented on some statistical aspects of that study, but The Last Psychiatrist makes some good points regarding how the numbers can and should be interpreted.

P.S. I flipped through The Last Psychiatrist blog and it was pretty interesting; mixed amidst the rants were thoughtful comments on interesting-looking psychological studies. But I was really, really irritated by the blogger’s style of putting only a picture and a single sentence on each entry, then you have to click through to read the rest. Doing this on occasion is fine–Lord knows, not all our readers here want to see all 10 versions of whatever red-state, blue-state map I happen to be playing with this week–but to do it for every damn blog entry, that’s just silly, and it degraded my reading experience enough that I gave up after clicking back and forth on a few entries. Maybe I’ll go back some other time and read the rest.

P.P.S. Seeing the commenters at that blog (and others) makes me really appreciate what we have here. Although I guess anybody could get intelligent, sobersided commentators by the simple expedient of throwing in enough blogging about hierarchical models, statistical computation, and so forth, to scare off the casual readers.

3 thoughts on “More on “50% of American Kids Receive Food Stamps”

  1. You should be glad for your commenters! man those were ugly name-calling.

    I think the food stamps thing has much less to say about how needy young families are, and much more to say about how abusive government programs are.

    They give you things to keep you coming back for more, and they punish you when you try to become more independent.

    Mankiw blogged on the poverty trap recently, and that's been running through my head for weeks. I'd love to see an official graph from the government, but check out the unofficial one he linked to.

  2. <a>It is rather ironic that you linked approvingly to The Last Psychiatrist because apparently he misunderstood the study’s statistical aspects that you criticized.

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