Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Government Statistics: Perfecting the Art of Mass Deception

“The truth that survives is simply the lie that is pleasantest to believe.” 

H. L. Mencken

We have often questioned why our most reliable market (and economic) indicators have been pointing toward a recession for more than a year (and in one case, three years) even as government statistics have shown the economy to be growing and inflation relatively benign. This week we examine why.

But first, here is a noteworthy quote that appeared in the opening screen of Chris Martenson’s excellent 16 minute video entitled Fuzzy Numbers that provides a hint.

“Ever since the 1960s, Washington has gulled its citizens and creditors by debasing official statistics, the vital instruments with which the muscle and vitality of the American economy are measured.” – Kevin Philips, April 27, 2008 Harper’s magazine entitled Hard Numbers: The economy is worse than you know. 

It is no secret how fast overall debt has grown and how government agencies fudge the numbers to make the economic picture appear far more pleasing than it really is. This week we take a closer look at how they do it. (more)

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