Thursday, September 10, 2009

Meaningless Statistics

The BBC tried to spin it as a positive story:

US President Barack Obama's massive stimulus package has created up to 1.1m jobs, according to the White House.

The $787bn (£472bn) package, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, has also significantly boosted economic activity, it said.

The first report on the act said it boosted US GDP by 2-3% between April and June, and would have a bigger effect in the next quarter.

However, as one who watched The Last Truck on HBO on Labor Day (could there have been better timing?), I have to say that mere numbers do not say very much. We the people deserve a more specific accounting of just what those jobs were, what sectors they served, and what skill levels they required. We also deserve a demographic accounting of how many people benefitted from the creation of these jobs in which parts of the country. This is not really a case of that proverbial act of lying with statistics, but it may well be a case of concealing the truth by not telling enough of it. I never thought I would say something like this; but, if I want "change I can believe in," I am beginning to think that I can only get it from the "Straight Talk Express!"

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