As our leaders assure us of ongoing recovery from the 2008 financial collapse, pointing to various government statistics in support, we cannot help recollecting childhood tales of foxes in charge of henhouses. The politicians after all, are in charge of government folk producing numbers that evaluate those politicians.
One clue is a website: Shadowstats.com. It produces private versions of the government unemployment, inflation, cost of living and other reports, calculated from the same data but without the ‘adjustments’ incorporated in recent years. There are other clues too. For example, one may compare the government report of an item with a similar report from private business.
The graph above shows the government version of oil patch unemployment compared to the same data set as displayed by a commercial firm, Challenger. It is apparent that the government is aware of fewer layoffs in the oil patch than is the commercial firm who must deal with them. It is also apparent that the politicians selling ‘recovery’ must prefer smaller numbers of unemployed and that the commercial firm must be able to stand financial audits where the numbers of such folk are important.
This sort of thing leads us to wonder how believable government numbers are today, especially when they have a significant political impact. Perhaps you will forgive us for some cynicism. It turned out that in fact, we could NOT keep our doctors with Obamacare nor could we afford it.
Perhaps we should have expected it from politicians intolerant of churches and their objective morality. Now we have moral relativism; there is no sin anymore unless you decide there is. Or morre accurately, unless the government decides that there is.
So, in such an atmosphere, how can one believe statistics produced by someone whose welfare is tied to the numbers? Folk like Challenger survive on the accuracy of their numbers. They sell them to users who won’t pay of they aren’t accurate. Politicians on the other hand, need to support their swindles.
The oily Arabs are pouring out (nearly) free oil until American fracking goes bust, leaving them in charge. Our politicians are loudly silent about that, if you notice. Both parties. And they need to show economic improvement to legitimize their deficits. So whose version of real oil patch unemployment do you believe? Look again at the graph above. You decide …