Skewed Methodology

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Oh, how our world is changing. Behold the new wonders of obsessive security, intrusive technologies and obtuse leadership. Surely this must be the Utopia that Sir Thomas More envisioned so many centuries ago. A dynamic society with many individuals capable of great things coupled with a budding tyrannical government focused on two things, economics and security.

As the recent jobs report shows, we are experiencing continued re-growth of the US economy. What they do not tell you is that the numbers have been skewed to highlight the positives. It is all in the methodology.

Once a person stops looking for work actively, they are considered out of the work force. How many people is that?

The last report I saw was from February detailing these numbers and it said that over 87.9 million Americans are considered out of the work force. There are some legitimate reasons for this, if a person is injured and physically or mentally unable to work then it makes sense. Some of these people are elderly or stay at home parents as well.

But, others are able to work and if you keep these people as in the work force the unemployment rate would be drastically higher.

But, what about the 24 year old recent college grad who has looked for a job for two years with no luck? They are no longer in the workforce but yet they are in the prime of their lives and have a great ability to work.

Numbers can be skewed and they are. The unemployment report is no different than other ways to measure a government or economies success or failure. Let’s look at Import vs. Export.

From The Economist:

If you add up all countries’ reported current-account transactions (exports minus imports of goods and services, net investment income, workers’ remittances and other transfers), the world exported $331 billion more than it imported in 2010, according to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook. The fund forecasts that the global current-account surplus will rise to almost $700 billion by 2014.

Are aliens buying Louis Vuitton handbags? Are little green men bagging the best sunbeds by the hotel pool? The more down-to-earth explanation is that the global surplus reflects statistical errors.

Okay, so it does seem to be clear that there is some dishonesty lying amidst these unemployment and economic figures.

We all know that we have many smart and capable people working for the US government. These people should be able to correctly add and subtract, foresee economic events and even plot a course towards a prosperous American (and world) future. So why is it going so horribly wrong?

We are either seeing a void of intellect in our leadership or we are seeing nefarious actors exerting their will. What do you believe?

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