Trickery, Flattery, or the like

…the use of deceptive statistics has convinced many Americans that the U.S. economy is stronger, fairer, more productive, more dominant, and richer with opportunity than it actually is.

Some say numbers hurt some people and help others.

…corruption has tainted the very measures of the economy

The truth, though it would not exactly set Americans free, would at least open a window to wider economic and political understanding.

Readers should ask themselves how much angrier the electorate might be if the media, over the past five years, had been citing 8 percent unemployment (instead of 5 percent), 5 percent inflation (instead of 2 percent), and average annual growth in the 1 percent range (instead of the 3–4 percent range).

We might ponder as well who profits from a low-growth U.S. economy hidden under statistical camouflage. Might it be Washington politicos and affluent elites, anxious to mislead voters, coddle the financial markets, and tamp down expensive cost-of-living increases for wages and pensions?

From good ol’ Kevin Phillips: How we’ve been bamboozled with numbers.
[tip Justin Gardner [search at]]