Economy with the truth

We expect the truth about the economy from our Government – not economy with the truth.

Yesterday I blogged about Social Development and Employment Minister Paula Bennett’s attempt to blame the ten year high in the unemployment rate on population growth. What I missed was an even more blatant denial of reality by the Prime Minister himself:

He told reporters it was important to note the economy was not losing jobs, it was a case of not creating new ones fast enough.

But the Government Statistician says:

Employment fell slightly during the quarter with the number of people employed decreasing by 2,000 or 0.1 percent, compared with a 16,000 decline in the previous quarter. Full-time employment drove the latest decrease in employment. Actual hours worked also fell by 0.4 percent consistent with the fall in employment during the December 2009 quarter, and by 3.2 percent since the December 2008 quarter.

Of course politicians, of whatever hue, are going to attempt to spin statistics to their political advantage.  I’m relaxed about that.

Telling blatant lies about statistics is another matter.

23 Comments Posted

  1. the gov says its on a need to know basis and you dont need to know.
    the economy will crash.
    when it does you will know.

  2. Graham – Key? Lying?
    Yes indeed.
    He told the farming crowd that they would be getting back 3 times whatever they paid in GST, as tax cuts. He’s either lying to them, or us.
    I asked him whether he meant all New Zealanders . He said ‘No, middle New Zealand’. I asked, “Who are they?”. He replied that he couldn’t say. “It changes”.

    It surely does, Mr Key.

  3. To return to Key and lieing. He states his proposed tax policy is intended to be fiscally neutral for the government,and at the same time those on low incomes including beneficiaries and pensioners will be compensated. Does that it will be fiscally nuetral for them. I would be MOST surprised if that happens and it indicates either another lie or sheer ignorance. Now I suspect he is too smart to be that ignorant.

  4. Politicians when they first start out are honest people. They spend most of their time in office, getting money to be re-elected. The places they get money from want them, to do certain things.They believe that is o.k. to do certain thins even though they no it is not good for the people.

  5. Interesting digression into secondary school maths (statistics). No one’s mentioned the “mode”…. which is likely to be middle aged white men if we are talking of the recently made redundant.

  6. Just to correct Lu’s comment. If you take the set of numbers {1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,100} the mean is 14.5 the median is 5.5. So you can see that 90% of the numbers are below the average and that 50% of the numbers are above the average. If the string of numbers is amended to {1,1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,100} we have a mode of 1 so we can also state, quite truthfully and deceptively, that 80% of the numbers are above average.

  7. Just to highlight StephenR’s comment. If you take the set of numbers {1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,100} the average is 14.5 the median is 5.5. So you can see that 90% of the numbers are below the average.

  8. I think the fundamental flaw Key and Tolley are making is the assumption that, because they don’t like reading the big fat reports full of nasty numbers, they can misquote or prevaricate at leisure, since surely no-one else under their exalted level in society would be bothering to read this muck?

    [It’s called ‘promoting people above their level of competence’, and is a regularly accepted business practice in the corporate world, particularly in Finance, as John Key knows all too well.]

  9. Roughly 50% of all teachers are below average.

    That IS actually possible, as greenfly alluded, I think. You’re thinking of the median.

  10. Bro – Tolley’s doing well. The people under her management; the teachers, principals and boards of trustees are enjoying her open style and her thorough grasp of the issues.

    Oh, and Rodney isn’t a hypocritical perker!

  11. big bro said: The enforced rise in youth rates is directly responsible for the rise in youth unemployment.

    According to the Government Statistician:

    There were also marked differences in the unemployment rates by ethnic group. The unemployment rate remains high for the Māori (15.4 percent), Pacific peoples (14.0 percent), and Middle Eastern/Latin American/African (17.1 percent) ethnic groups, while the unemployment rate for the European ethnic group stands at 4.6 percent.

    So as well as a lower minimum wage for youth, would you also suggest a lower minimum wage for people who are Māori, Pasifika or of Middle Eastern, Latin American or African ethnicity, bro?

    That sort of reasoning leads us to a very unpleasant place indeed.

  12. Oh…and I do not remember such a fuss when Comrade Bradford misused statistics during her anti smacking crusade.

    Typical Green hypocrisy.

  13. Toad – mine was just a ‘mean’ joke and you are right about Tolley lying. Key’s doing it too. Repeatedly. It’s an ugly thing to see in our Leader.
    A question for a finger-on-the-pulse Toad – the unemployment rate, is it really seven point three percent?


    Has the ‘Jobs Summit’ not worked … at all?

  14. Tolley must be doing a great job judging by the way the hard left are going after her.

    Never mind, National standards are here, the parents want them, the government wants them and the employers want them.

    Now…how about that environment???

  15. I suspect not ‘fly, but I’m sure Tolley does. She’s another one who likes to misuse statistics:

    Mr Key and Education Minister Anne Tolley said Education Review Office reports showed 30 percent of teachers were not doing a good job. Mr Buutveld said that was not what ERO said and it had identified problems with 10 percent.

  16. Can you handle the truth?

    The enforced rise in youth rates is directly responsible for the rise in youth unemployment.

  17. Roughly 56% of statistics quoted are made up in the spot –

    Due to the nature of National Ltd’s politicians, the value changes every single time they are referenced. It can vary widely from under 40% to over 90%. At the moment, it is 3.2%

  18. So, if the MSM doesn’t report this conversation, he has got away with it.

    I have no contact with them, so I don’t know what to do about it. Does any of you?

  19. That’s so obviously a lie I can’t imagine how Key thought he would get away with it. I suspect he hadn’t read the media release from the Government Statistician and just made it up.

    Interesting (and disturbing) that the MSM appear to have just printed what he said, rather than challenging him on it.

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