View Poll Results: Does the government frequently lie to us to manipulate us?

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  • Yes, and it almost always succeeds

    10 55.56%
  • Yes, but I am smart enough to know the difference

    5 27.78%
  • No, usually not

    2 11.11%
  • No, unless it necessary for our own good

    0 0%
  • IDK/Other

    1 5.56%
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Thread: Are the claims of the USA government generally tell manipulative lies?

  1. #11
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    Re: Are the claims of the USA government generally tell manipulative lies?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    I understand your argument, but are you recognizing how meaningless this information then becomes to the average family whose food and energy expenditures are= their largest variable expenses?
    That's fine...the statistics aren't intended for consumption by the average family anyway. The average family can draw its own conclusions about whether inflation is too high based on their own experience, and they can assign blame as they see fit.

    Again I ask: What should be included in our measure of inflation whose prices does NOT depend on any random external factors (i.e. whose price depends solely on policy decisions?).
    We'll never eliminate random external factors entirely, but generally core inflation excludes food and energy, because those are the most volatile. If you eliminate those, you'll get a fairly good view of inflation that's not dependent on external factors.

    This seems disingenuous. If you asked any halfway intelligent human who had never heard of economics to imagine what is meant by the term "unemployment rate," s/he would likely answer without pause that it refers to the percentage of people who don't have jobs. It would make sense to exclude children who can't by law have jobs and the retired who can't be expected to, but beyond that, the fact that there are "all the(se) different measures of unemployment" serves no purpose that I can see other than to sell an inaccurate storyline to the American people.
    The BLS estimates the number of jobs created each month, and it has always been about informing policy rather than "selling an inaccurate storyline to the American people." In fact, the whole media ritual of reporting the monthly jobs figures only started in 2008; the BLS has been compiling those statistics for decades.
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  2. #12
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    Re: Are the claims of the USA government generally tell manipulative lies?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    We'll never eliminate random external factors entirely, but generally core inflation excludes food and energy, because those are the most volatile.
    I'm not sure you detect the irony there. As soon as the price of item X (previously included in the CPI) starts rising substantially, indicating inflation, we call it "too volatile" to continue factoring in to inflation. I think government (and hence its statisticians) have an incentive to make us believe we're not getting nickled and dimed by inflation and therefore must change how they measure it.

    It is essentially changing the rules of the game as soon as soon as you start losing. I.e. cheating.
    Last edited by Neomalthusian; 11-11-12 at 02:35 PM.

  3. #13
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    Re: Are the claims of the USA government generally tell manipulative lies?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    I'm not sure you detect the irony there. As soon as the price of item X (previously included in the CPI) starts rising substantially, indicating inflation, we call it "too volatile" to continue factoring in to inflation. I think government (and hence its statisticians) have an incentive to make us believe we're not getting nickled and dimed by inflation and therefore must change how they measure it.
    And I think you're conflating government (which is mostly comprised of nonpartisan civil servants) with politics.

    Although the exact criteria change slightly from year to year, it's been fairly standard for a long time that food and energy are excluded, and most everything else is included. There isn't any partisan element or even any pro-incumbent element in play here...the people who compile these statistics have often been in their jobs for decades. Core inflation statistics are not perfect, but they generally present a much more accurate picture than including food and energy would.
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  4. #14
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    Re: Are the claims of the USA government generally tell manipulative lies?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    And I think you're conflating government (which is mostly comprised of nonpartisan civil servants) with politics.

    Although the exact criteria change slightly from year to year, it's been fairly standard for a long time that food and energy are excluded, and most everything else is included. There isn't any partisan element or even any pro-incumbent element in play here...the people who compile these statistics have often been in their jobs for decades. Core inflation statistics are not perfect, but they generally present a much more accurate picture than including food and energy would.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar (previous post)
    That's fine...the statistics aren't intended for consumption by the average family anyway. The average family can draw its own conclusions about whether inflation is too high based on their own experience, and they can assign blame as they see fit.
    Good points (even though I have disagreements). I will remember this discussion the next time a fiscal conservative complains about inflation and someone fights back with announcements about how low the "official" inflation figures are and have been. Clearly we are considering different standards... fiscal conservatives are likely thinking about the average family's expenditures, of which food and energy are among the most important. The expertise you cite of government statisticians and the will of political credit-takers don't translate well to the ACTUAL expenditures of families, of which food and energy are among the most crucial.

    We should qualify which sort of unemployment and inflation we're talking about in these debates, because otherwise we're speaking different languages.

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    Re: Are the claims of the USA government generally tell manipulative lies?

    Does the government lie? Absolutely. Does the media back up the governments position often? Yes. Its called manufacturing consent.


  6. #16
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    Re: Are the claims of the USA government generally tell manipulative lies?

    Inflation and the unemployement stats have all been changed in the last 30 years (mid Reagan admin) and have since then made both look better then past data

    Check out Shadow Stats to get data that reflects that of pre mid 80s
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