Saturday, October 3, 2009

Better Through Creative Statistics

Reagan's Unemployment Numbers
10/03/09 - DonSurber's blog - Comment by John D.


John D:  I am a little confused when I see unemployment numbers from the Reagan years compared to unemployment since 1993.

I believe that the Clinton Administration changed the formula for figuring unemployment to make the numbers smaller. They stopped counting the long term unemployed and those that had quit looking for employment.

Are the Reagan numbers being compared to numbers using the new method, or have the Reagan numbers been recalculated?

Surber:  They are not recalculated. Good point.

Don't believe government statistics and historical comparisons.

The Democratic President Clinton changed the unemployment computation to make his administration look better compared to Reagan and Bush the father. Bush the son didn't change it back; doing so would have made him look worse.

So, now we have unemployment statistics that specifically leave out the long term unemployed and those not looking regularly for work. People who are in part-time jobs are naturally left out, even if they consider this a fallback from former full-time employment.

This is fine for government, which claims that things are just as good as 20 years ago. This supposed progress is a result of manipulating the numbers.

This distortion builds over time as the definitions change to make things look better. The numbers become more unreal, leaving us ignorant about how effective our policies are.

USA Healthcare is First - Infant Mortality is Low
01/08/09 - Easy Opinions by Andrew Garland

Health statistics are intentionally misrepresented to argue for socialized medicine. The major argument is that the US spends more than Europe, but lags behind in health outcomes. So, US healthcare is both expensive and inefficient. Actually, government administration hides much of the socialized cost, and the USA has better health.

Consumer Price Index -
Things You've Suspected But Were Afraid to Ask

10/01/06 - Shadow Stats by Walter J. Williams (John Williams)
Via 11/05/08 - Alpha Dominance

[edited] Inflation, as reported by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is understated by roughly 7% per year, due to recent redefinitions of the numbers and flawed methods, particularly adjusting prices for changes in quality.

The CPI was designed to help everyone adjust their financial planning to the impact of inflation. Since the earyl 1980's, these statistics have changed to meet demands from miscreant politicians. Politicians were and are intent upon stealing income from social security recipients, without public discussion or Congressional approval.

The Clinton Administration changed the CPI to significantly understate inflation, along with changes in the late-Carter and early Reagan Administrations. Thas has reduced current social security payments by roughly half from where they would have been otherwise.

Anyone who receives payments adjusted by the CPI has been similarly damaged. On the other side, the government makes out like a bandit making payments adjusted by this lowered CPI.

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