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"Beat by a Penny!" -- Fool me once, shame on you...

Sunday, March 14, 2010, 7:17 PM
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One of the things that I used to do with great regularity, until I felt like I was beating a very dead horse, was to break down various government economic reports to reveal the various ways statistical tricks are used to torture the data into more pleasing forms.  Which is a kind way of saying "fib to ourselves."


I wish I could report that I stopped doing this because some measure of sanity had returned to our economic bean counters and that our economic numbers were once again useful and at least roughly accurate.  Sadly, I gave up, because, if anything, they are more deeply-compromised and useless than ever.


Still, I think it is helpful to review the tricks every so often, so that we maintain an appropriately healthy skepticism of these falsified numbers.

 

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