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I knew already some of the mentioned adjustments.
However, what I found interesting in the FTD is the comparison with the DM/Euro development, e.g. it seems that in Germany/Europe these statistics are much less manipulated than in the US - while it seems to me that people in the US tend to have a higher degree of trust to their gov than Germans. But of course the causality might be the opposite direction.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers
by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Wed May 14th, 2008 at 08:43:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it seems that in Germany/Europe these statistics are much less manipulated than in the US
Actually that was one of the things I wanted to ask. Is the US the most egregious practicioner of this sort of numerical revisionism? And: Do harmonized indicators even exist among EU member-states (or even eurozone members), such that we know, say, the unemployment, under a common definition, in all member countries? I mean when the Belgian Economy Minister states that unemployment (or any indicator) in Belgium is X% and his Greek counterpart states that in Greece it is Y%, are X and Y necessarily directly, or pretty close to directly, comparable?

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed May 14th, 2008 at 09:04:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's an EU Labour Force Survey overseen by Eurostat, and OECD also does "comparative" employment stats.

See my diaries on comparative employment statistics:

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed May 14th, 2008 at 10:09:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unemployment is special, but there is quite a lot of harmonised statistics. E.g. fiscal deficit has to be reported under very clear rules to the EU and this numbers are cited in public.
For inflation there exist Eurozone numbers, as for many other relevant things. The Maastricht treaty has requirements for a country to be able to join the Eurozone. That would not make sense, if every country could define on its own how those numbers are measured, although I think Greece has tried...


Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers
by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Wed May 14th, 2008 at 12:58:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not so much trust in my experience as lack of knowledge and sophistication.

A certain form of anti-intellectualism accentuates these two elements, making the divorce of ones views  from ones own interests all the more easy, in the short term at least, to acheive.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed May 14th, 2008 at 10:29:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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