by Jeff Nielson
“Statistics can be used to say anything.”
Many readers are familiar with this cliché, but few understand its real significance . Numbers don’t lie, meaning the raw data which we collect on a nearly infinite number of subjects. Statistics, on the other hand, are rarely just raw data. Instead, they are numbers that have been massaged (i.e. manipulated) with various adjustments.
Deception and deceit enters into the picture when our governments (and charlatan economists ) create their statistics, and do so by making adjustments which are completely indefensible from an analytical standpoint. These adjustments don’t improve upon the raw data in terms of adding clarity, but rather they pervert the data into numbers which cease to have any resemblance to the real world.