Bob's Links and Rants

Welcome to my rants page! You can contact me by e-mail: Blog roll. Site feed.

Friday, December 05, 2003

The good-news offensive...
Didn't work out so well for the Bushies in Iraq. Even the corporate media just couldn't bring themselves to put stories about painting schools ahead of stories about chopper crashes killing 17 US soldiers. But their good-news offensive on the economy appears to be working. Left I On the News has a good post about the meaninglessness of some of the recent numbers that have been making front-page news.

News reports claim that "productivity surged to a 20-year high," but, curiously enough, any actual data about "productivity" (output per hour), or actual data about actual output, are noticeably lacking from the article. What the data quoted in the article say is that "productivity rose at an annual rate of 9.4 percent" in the third quarter, "the best since the second quarter of 1983." In other words, the rate of increase of productivity was at a 20-year high, not productivity itself (that may be true, but, as I said, there is absolutely no evidence presented that it is).

Suppose for instance that you're considering finding loose change on the street as an alternative to your day job. Let's say you found a dime on Monday, 15 cents on Tuesday, a penny on Wednesday, and two pennies on Thursday. While Tuesday was clearly your best day to any reasonable person, it represented only a 50% rate of increase over the previous day, overshadowed by Thursday's dramatic 100% increase.

Since many of the reports released come from the Bushie-controlled government, there is really little reason to believe any of them. They have shown repeatedly that they will lie about anything to get their way, and the labor and commerce departments should probably be considered to be parts of aWol's reselection campaign. Some things may be improving in the economy; others getting worse. It doesn't really matter to the Bushies. All they care about is that there have been several days in a row with headlines about supposedly improved economic numbers. They know that the majority of reporters and the vast majority of the general public won't bother to investigate whether there is any truth and/or meaning to the numbers being hyped.