Question: When does a government agency chartered with collecting and disseminating economic data morph into a propaganda ministry?
Answer: When it allows unaccountable bureaucrats answerable only to the politicians who appoint them to make arbitrary “adjustments” that obscure the reporting of the underlying trends the data are supposed to show.
There once was a time when people tended to take Uncle Sam’s pronouncements regarding unemployment, housing starts, inflation, and countless other economic figures at face value. In the days before the blogosphere we simply didn’t have much choice. If the government said something was so and a tight circle of leading newspaper and TV news editors concurred, it was treated as gospel. Rarely did anyone dig further, even if they were so inclined.
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