Seasonally Adjusted Lies

Posted: Feb 15, 2012 12:01 AM

It never ceases to amaze me how politicians believe that telling the truth is somehow a guarantor of a short career. 

I remember quite distinctly when Presidential candidate John McCain looked directly into the television camera and told the American public that “all was well.” 

At the time, he was leading the race for the Presidency.  Did he know the truth, or was it wishful thinking?  The rest, they say, was history.  Back to the Senate, neighbor.  (Yes, I’m honored to say that John McCain is actually my neighbor.) 

Fast forward to the present. 

We are being constantly bombarded with seasonally adjusted numbers that are designed to make all of us feel good.  Coupled with a Plunge Protection Team (PPT) controlled stock market in order to create Bernanke’s wealth effect, and theoretically our economy is well on the road to recovery. 

Unfortunately, when the governmental seasonal adjustments are removed, certain indisputable facts still remain.  Unemployment is a good example. 

With the utilization of the government’s statistics regarding less people in the workforce, we experience a so-called ongoing drop in the unemployment rate.  Conversely, using historic methodology without adjustments, unemployment continues to rise. 

Keep in mind that people just don’t disappear!  Next, retail sales.  The government’s seasonal adjustments supposedly illustrate a continuing trend of consumers who are enjoying a renaissance of spending. 

However, examining the stated numbers without the shenanigans clearly shows the largest one-month drop in retail history.  A great Black Friday, a terrific Cyber Monday, and a holiday season to write home about?  Definitely not!  Finally, let’s discuss job creation.  This particular governmental adjustment is very interesting because according to the administration one job loss and one job gain cancel each other out in the national figures. 

On the other hand, if wages were included in the equation, the data would clearly demonstrate the continual loss of not only income, but the decline of wealth and purchasing power as well.  The old job and the new job, contrary to governmental data, do not equate when it comes to dollars.  Could we, as a nation, handle the truth? 

As a native of Upstate New York having suffered through many a difficult winter, it was always in my best interest to heed the advice of my old friend and colleague, meteorologist Kevin Williams. 

When Kevin warned of an impending lake effect snow storm, I prepared myself by taking the necessary precautions.  It is extremely regrettable that Senators, members of Congress, government statisticians, and even Presidents think so little of us that the truth is something that rarely passes their lips. 

Therefore, I enthusiastically suggest that my comrade Kevin Williams throw his hat in the ring for President.  At least we’d get the straight skinny, and not seasonally adjusted hot air.