Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

We keep hearing that the depression is over – in fact it ended two years ago.

So why is the economy still so rotten?

The answer is in how you define “depression.”  And, how you define unemployment.  And inflation.  Yes, the devil is in the details, or as Mark Twain noted: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

For example, core inflation as measured by the gub’mint’s CPI (Consumer Price Index) counts things like housing prices, but not oil or food.  Housing prices are down, so the official inflation/CPI numbers are down as well.  The problem with that is, even if you own a home, you probably aren’t buying and selling houses on a regular basis.  You are, however, likely to be buying gasoline and foodstuffs.   In short, the reality of your pocketbook is not connected to government measurements of the reality of your pocketbook.  (The real inflation rate is calculated around 10%).

Unemployment?  The real unemployment rate as of early June is calculated somewhere between 16.6% and 22%.  What makes this number “real” (versus the numbers the gub’mint flogs) is that it includes people who’ve given up looking for work, and people who are stuck in part-time jobs because they can’t get anything better.  But even the real unemployment rate misses a big chunk of the population — the self-employed who don’t qualify for unemployment checks when their business tanks, or who are limping along not making enough money to live on, because their business has tanked.

Obama has been the ultimate “spin” president.  Ignore the fact he had no administrative experience – he’d be great running the US!  Forget about his radical associations with people like Bill Ayers, he’s a moderate!  His own words about redistribution of wealth — pay no attention!  And now we’re being asked not to believe our lying eyes about what’s happening in the US economy.  Just take the government’s word for it – all is well.

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About Mystic Cowgirl

I worked overseas in the aid game for longer than I'd like to admit and learned several important things: 1) Third World countries aren't poor because America is rich. They're impoverished due to socialist governments that provide neither rule of law nor basic infrastructures; 2) These socialist governments redistribute wealth from taxpayers to the government workers. There's no benefit to the poor or downtrodden, and certainly not to the general welfare in terms of infrastructure improvements. 3) America is moving toward the Third World model. Rule of law has been subverted because equality under the law is disappearing as special interests carve out exemptions to regulations and special favors under the law. The redistribution of wealth to government began decades ago -- total compensation for government employees now outpaces salaries in the private sector.
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One Response to Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

  1. Mystic Cowgirl says:

    Hm… Is IBD reading this blog? They came out with nearly the identical headline a couple hours after this post on nearly the identical topic! http://bit.ly/op5F6m I guess great minds think alike.

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