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03/21/2006 Archived Entry: "Government Statistics Lie"
8% INFLATION, 12% UNEMPLOYMENT. 800,000 JOBS LOST IN 2005, BUDGET DEFICIT OF $3.5 TRILLION, with a T.
I saw "V for Vendetta" last night, but I'm not talking about an alternate future. These numbers are the conclusions of a private economist who has been tracking government statistics for 20 years. More importantly, he has been reading the fine print in government reports. There is a reason your personal experience of the economy doesn't quite match all the good news in The War Street Journal.
Most people would rather be told a comforting lie than confront ugly reality. Politicians figured that out a long time ago. Walter J. Williams has been keeping track of how the books are cooked. He figures that social security checks would be 70% higher if honest CPI figures were used. Nixon imposed price controls when inflation was less than 5%; today we live with nearly twice that figure. Only the lies are different. Those who suffer are the same: the retired, the disabled, the helpless, the savers, anyone on fixed income. If you are not first in line to get that fabled "money from thin air" created in such massive quantities today, you are falling behind every single day.
His site, Shadow Government Statistics is worth a look for those who care more about truth than comfort, and can stomach a few ugly numbers. His interview (PDF file) is not for the faint of heart. The really bad news: he is a self-described optimist.
Posted by Silver @ 10:27 PM CST