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Numbers Game

2010-08-08

Category: politics

I've seen quite a few political ads lately that try to compare unemployment under current politicians with that under earlier politicians. These comparisons are not particularly meaningful.

The entire world is going through a recession now. This condition is relatively new, within the past few years. The work done by elected officials before the recession does not really reflect what they would have accomplished under similar conditions. Therefore, the comparisons do not really reflect useful information.

Just as important, because it is a worldwide recession, there is not much a local, state, or federal elected official can do to make major changes. If you vote in the new guys, there is very little that the new guy is going to be able to do that the current guy is doing. There are some exceptions, but in general, most claims to the contrary have no basis in fact.

What does this mean? It means that politicians are once again taking advantage of the ignorance of people who have not learned statistics and civics. Eventually, if we make it that long, improved education will fix some of this. I hold out little hope.


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