Monday, November 26, 2007
The state of the U.S. economy apparently depends on what statistics you are using as a guide. A Cox News Service article (11-24-07) states that economists assure us the inflation rate is about 2% and the government says food prices are up 4.4% compared to last year and inflation is low. They do not consider fuel and food in the inflation rate since those items can rise and fall dramatically. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics in October show that gasoline was up 23%, bread up 16%, coffee up nearly 10%, and orange juice up 28% from last year. I happen to believe the average consumer takes those items into consideration when measuring their own inflation rate and how to juggle finances to meet the needs for the month. The games played with statistics are ridiculous. I find the unemployment statistics suspect, since they do not show anything but new claims and do not consider people that have run out of benefits without locating a new job. Only considering new claims does not provide a real view of the unemployment picture and the effect on the economy. You can utilize statistics to support different views depending on how they are manipulated, but the public should not be on the receiving end of misleading information from their elected officials.