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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Statistical Errors

I just heard on the news this morning that some of the job statistics that the government has said are wrong. According to recovery.gov, thirteen different congressional districts in the state reported receiving stimulus funds as of September 30. Montana has only one federal congressional district.

The recovery.gov site was set up in February, 2009, with a budget of $84 million to operate for two-and-a-half years, according to Ed Pound, director of communications for the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board which oversees the site.

Mr. Pound said his organization is accurately reporting the information that recipients provide. He said in some cases it appears recipients are entering the wrong congressional districts in their reports. The independent organization's mission statement reads, in part, "To promote accountability by coordinating and conducting oversight of  Recovery funds to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse and to foster transparency on Recovery spending  by providing the public with accurate, user-friendly information..."

As soon as I heard this report, I thought about a movie from the forties. This movie, An Apartment for Peggy starred Jeanne Crain (remember her?). She played a young (19) wife whose husband is attending college on the GI Bill. Miss Crain's character was very fond of quoting statistics, unfortunately her statistics had no basis in fact. She said that most people don't question them or you and it made her sound intelligent.

This also brings to mind something the good Sisters said way back in grammar school. They told us, "Remember, figures don't lie, but liars do figure". Just something to keep in mind when we are given statistics.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

EACH TIME I THINK THINGS CAN'T GET ANY WORSE WITH THIS ADMINISTRATION, THEY DO. NOW I ONLY THINK THEY CAN'T POSSIBLY GET ANY BETTER. I READ TODAY THAT THEY AREN'T TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT THE REAL AMOUNT OF OUR DEBT. EVEN CHINA SCOLDED OBAMA. WE'D BETTER START PRAYING REALLY HARD. I'D HATE TO SEE MY KIDS AND GRANDKIDS LIVING IN A BANKRUPT COUNTRY.

ANGELFITZ /SSS said...

WHY DO I KEEP COMING UP ANONYMOUS? SURELY I CAN FIGURE THIS OUT CAN'T I?