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Economist challenges government data

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by weswelker#83, May 25, 2008.

  1. weswelker#83

    weswelker#83 In the Starting Line-Up

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  2. otis p. driftwood

    otis p. driftwood Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    So in other words, this guy sits there and forcasts that we're all going to die, but has no proof of it other than "reverse engineering the data"...in other words, he makes it fit his template.
     
  3. weswelker#83

    weswelker#83 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Someone said:

    Numbers Don't Lie, Liars Use Numbers
     
  4. otis p. driftwood

    otis p. driftwood Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    That's not the quote, wes.

    So...are you saying that your boy here you posted the story about is a liar? Is that what you're saying?
     
  5. weswelker#83

    weswelker#83 In the Starting Line-Up

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    The government's calculation that unemployment was 5 percent in April and that inflation was 4 percent and economic growth 2 percent over the last year, is fantasy. It might even be disinformation.

    Government economic data are "out of touch with common experience. That's why people used to believe the numbers but no longer do," Williams said during an interview in his modest one-bedroom apartment near Lake Merritt.
     
  6. otis p. driftwood

    otis p. driftwood Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    So you want to say that every other economist in the entire world is wrong and you know for a fact that this guy...this "grassy knoll" guy...is right?
     
  7. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The government certainly plays games with numbers, and I suspect it's done that for a long time. As the article, says, the governments numbers don't seem to match our "common experience," namely I think most of us are aware that things are gettng more expensive at a faster rate than the government's inflation rate would suggest.

    Also, the guy raises some important specifics:

    "For example, over the last 25 years, several technical changes have been made in the way the consumer price index is calculated:

    -- In the 1980s, the Bureau of Labor Statistics switched from using house prices to equivalent rental prices in calculating homeowner inflation.

    -- About a decade ago, the bureau shifted to a model in which consumers are assumed to switch some of their purchases within narrowly defined categories from items that have gone up in price to other items that have risen less, such as buying round steak instead of porterhouse.

    -- The bureau has long adjusted prices for quality improvements. If a product gets better or if useful features are added, its price is adjusted down. Thus, with automobiles, additions such as antilock brakes have sometimes resulted in price decreases in calculating the CPI, even though the actual cost of cars went up. In the late 1980s and 1990s, new quality-adjustment techniques were introduced for a range of products, including washers, dryers and televisions.

    Each of these changes has had the effect of reducing the reported inflation rate, according to Williams."
     

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