THE HIGH PROBALITY THAT THE STATISTICS, WHCH GUIDE THE DECISIONS MADE ABOUT THE U.S. ECONOMY, ARE WRONG TO THE POINT OF BEING MISLEADING. OR VICE-VERSA
BUT EVEN IF THEY WERE ACCURATE, WOULD THAT MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE—GIVEN THAT WE SEEM TO BE INCREASINGLY GUIDED BY IDEOLOGY RATHER THAN FACTS?
THE EARTH IS FLAT, BY THE WAY! THE ONLY REASON IT LOOKS CURVED FROM ON HIGH IS BECAUSE OF THE CURVATURE OF YOUR EYEBALLS!
I’m primarily an economist by training—a fairly obvious training for thriller-writing given all that sex (stocks and bondage, business model orgies, gross national product, free market—free love on steroids, market dominance, market penetration, supply and demand, inflation and deflation—how much more graphic can one get?) and violence for which economics courses are justly famous—and I have a Masters which gives me a claim to that label, But, since I have never practiced as one, I’m reluctant to call myself an expert.
Or do I mean export? Economics is such a rush!
It’s such a limiting description! After all, is knowing more and more about less and less a good thing? The relative ignorance of being a generalist doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Ignorance, on the other hand, is all the rage—and, like measles, it seems to be catching.
Still, I follow economics in general—and the U.S. economy in particular with the same sort of dedication that fanatical sports fans give to their teams (and I have been doing so for 54 years). I don’t regard economics as “the dismal science”—I regard it as fun. In the process, with the advantage of my academic background in the subject, I have become quite knowledgeable.
One does after half a century. It’s amazing! Practically defines the phrase ‘quick study.’
A characteristic of my approach to studying an economy is to try and identify economists who seem to understand the situation better than most, have original insights, and whose forecasting gets it right (more or less).
If somebody else does all the hard work, whom am I to complain!
Where forecasting is concerned, I don’t look for perfection because I don’t think mathematical models are yet that accurate. In fact, I’m far from sure they ever will be even after Big Data becomes an integral part of our lives (even more than it is already). Just in case you didn’t know, Big Data can be hacked and fiddled with—and isn’t necessarily accurate to begin with. It also has a tendency to homogenize. An omelet isn’t an egg.
But here is my point. I’m increasingly convinced that many of the statistics we throw about with such gay (in the traditional sense of the word—unless you are so inclined) abandon—and which both the media and politicians tend to spout without thought, context, or interpretation—are inaccurate.
‘Wrong’ describes the situation nicely.
Dr. Michael Mandel, Chief Economic Strategist at the Progressive Policy Institute seems to agree with me. Go check him and the subject out.
No, having ‘progressive’ in the title of his institute doesn’t automatically make him wrong. He’s an interesting guy, a contrarian with an original cast of mind. I have been reading his stuff for years, and I think he is on the right track.
VOR words 543.