Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fudging statistics to make a government look good

Question for today: in which country takes place what I quote below from a major newspaper?:
Workers at the government's National Institute of Statistics [INE] call it crass manipulation: Their agency, under pressure from above, altered socioeconomic data to reflect numbers palatable to the presidency. Inflation and poverty miraculously dropped, they said in interviews, and the economy boomed.

At least officially.

"They just erased the real numbers," said [.....], an 18-year veteran at the institute. "Reality did not matter."

If you guessed Venezuela you missed, it is Argentina, words taken from a Washington Post article by Forero.

But do not feel sorry for yourself, this also applies to Venezuela, you can bet hard money on it. The only difference is that in Argentina you still have means to investigate the government whereas in Venezuela not only you have no access to the real data of the country but you run into trouble if you try to investigate the reality of our country.

See, in Venezuela, reality is only what Chavez says it is.

So, next time you rad fabulous results from the Chavez administration you can divide or multiple by 2, according the type of number, and you probably will be closer to the truth than what the government tells you. Take for example the declared inflation rate of 13% since the beginning of the year. I do not know about you but the one I have a "sensación" for is much closer to 20%, and if it is the services that I need to contract to finish stuff in my newly moved in home, we are probably talking 40%. Never mind car spare parts.... Or my hair person who doubled her fee last May, just like that.

-The end-

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