Sunday, March 26, 2006

Crowd Control

The noise coming from Washington has Mexicans in this country riled up. And from the looks of news accounts the press has sided with the Mexicans. In Los Angeles over the weekend crowds estimated at 500,000 were reported. Indeed the crowds were large and who knows maybe there were more than 500,000.

On the other hand crowd size estimates have been the subject of controversy. Those who seek a large number to support their side are offended when they hear a number less than what they believe. Reporters ususally seek estimates from police departments who claim no special abilities in this area. Savvy police chiefs can read the political winds and are capable of coming up with acceptable numbers since little is gained by lowballing the figure.

In February of 2003 several large anti-war demonstrations took place. One of the largest was in San Francisco. News accounts estimated the size at 200,000 making the demonstrators quite satisfied. Later in the week the San Francisco Chronicle revealed that they had hired someone to take aerial photos and make a real effort to validate the crowd size. The resulting story said that at the peak of the protest the crowd was more like 65,000. Needless to say this made the paper's target audience seeing red--if it's indeed possible to be more red.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is there no irony that the Fed is meeting right now to decide whether to raise interest rates because wages might be going up, "causing" inflation pressure, when the alternative to raising rates would be to allow much more legal immigration, which would presumably drive wages down. Illegal immigration, no. Expanded legal immigration - why not, if it helps interest rates to stay down.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

You're referring to the great national debate about inflation rates?

8:57 AM  

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