Axiom I: For every statistic X that proves assertion A there exists a statistic Y that disproves assertion A.

You won’t see endless tables of statistics in my blog.  Most statistics have exclusions and inclusions that narrow and can slant the picture.  If you ask how many people died in alcohol-related traffic accidents last year you’ll get a pretty accurate number, but what about the unemployment rate?  It excludes discouraged people who have given up the job search.  Don’t they still need work?  What about the under-employed? Next consider the “core” CPI that excludes changes in food and energy prices.  How many TVs have you eaten lately?  Generally if a figure depends on survey results you have to ask who wrote it, who was surveyed, and what is the margin of error.  Even then be skeptical.

What if X=Y?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s