Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Note On Government Statistics

For the last few years there has been a continuing debate about government statistics. Some people argue they are seriously flawed, some think they are fine. The site most cited in this argument is Shadow Stats. Shadow stats made some claims regarding inflation which I (regrettably) bought into. The BLS later debunked these claims. For a summation of this situation, go to this link.

I have not found a single article or paper from a person in the field of statistics or economics that makes a credible claim that the government statistics are so seriously flawed as to be devoid of any substance. In fact, after doing a search of the social science research network's paper database ( I could find no paper near that point. In addition, I'm a big consumer of the financial press and I have not seen any raging debate about government numbers.

In short, if you are going to argue that the government numbers are flawed, please present credibly evidence -- not a website, not an "I just know it" argument. And Shadow Stats has already been debunked.