AFP Item On U.S. Driving Is Both Econ- and Math-Challenged

AFPmathCeconMockIt's not just the Associated Press that can't get basic facts right.

No wonder Barack Obama doesn't get challenged by the media on fundamentals -- y'know, things like how many states there are in the union (he says 57 or so), whether Illinois is closer to Kentucky than Arkansas (he says it's not), or whether Warren Buffett's income (!) is $56 billion (Obama seems to think that income and net worth are the same).

Apparently, some in the media have similar serious problems with basic economics and math.

Check out this from AFP about Americans' driving (bolds are mine):

Americans drive 4.5 billion fewer miles in April: report

..... beginning in 2004, the number of miles Americans put in on the roads annually began falling between 100 and 300 million miles.

And this year, the fall accelerated sharply on a yearly comparison to 4.4 billion miles.

Observers surmise a possible link between the declining number of miles driven and rising US gasoline prices.

According to a report released in April 2004 by the Congressional Research Service, the average price for petrol in the United States during the summer of 2003 was 1.74 dollars per gallon (around 3.5 liters).

Today, gasoline prices across the United States are around 3.5 times higher, averaging more than four dollars per gallon.

Reaction to first bolded item after the headline: Increasing prices reduces demand Gee, ya think?

Reaction to second bolded item after the headline: On what planet does $4 divided by $1.74 equal 3.5?

The frightening thing is that this might have been reviewed by, and gotten past, multiple layers of editors.

Cross-posted at

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