August 04, 2004

It's Wednesday, time for some misleading graphs!

Take a look at this discussion. The author's trying to decide how the economy has done under Bush. This pair of charts doesn't really give us any information to answer that question.

Yes, GDP has risen through most of W's term in office. I guess. The chart tells us what the ratio of GDP-now to GDP-a-year-ago is. While our inflation rate is pretty low, for completeness the chart should explain whether these are real or nominal dollars (whether inflation is taken into account or not).

The second chart is even worse, because it tells us how these two employment surveys have been changing, now what the result of these surveys is. For those of you who've taken calculus, we're looking at the derivative of the interesting function, not the function itself, and the only `slightly different' derivatives mask very different behaviour in the survey results -- for most of W's term, the Establishment numbers (how many people are getting a paycheque) have been falling, and the Household numbers (how many people have jobs) increasing. Don't ask me to explain this, or the substantial difference between the two. I do math, not econ.

1 comment:

MosBen said...

Since when have functions been interesting? hahahahahaha!