Monday, June 09, 2008

Liars and statistics

In today's editorial, Liar-in-Chief pulls out statistical tricks to mislead readers. After all, what better lies than statistics.
Inflation is rising with a predictable regularity. For the week ending with May 24 it had climbed to 8.24 per cent, up from 8.10 per cent a week earlier. At this point the inflation as measured by the Wholesale Price Index is at a 45-month high. There are a few silver linings, however.

Inflation is at 8.24 percent - a 45-month high. Most would be worried at this. But this editorial is about a meaningful index and not about the politics/consequences of inflation. So, what is the silver lining and what is the point in providing it?
Though climbing, the extent of increases on a week-to-week basis is becoming smaller. Also, the final inflation figures that are invariably announced after a lag do not show such sharp spikes as they used to till recently.

The rate of increase of inflation is decreasing. Ofcourse, it will; this is not Zimbabwe. But the inflation is still increasing. The LiC also acknowledges that it will continue to increase in the near future. Bottomline: there is no silver lining. Even a steady inflation at 8.24% is no silver lining. Now, for the next question: what is the point in providing a non-existent silver lining?

There could be two reasons why we have this sub-standard editorial. The LiC is trying to please some political powers. The second is that the LiC is out of touch with reality. The LiC should begin by trying to talk to the respondents in "People and Prices".

4 comments:

Dirt Digger said...

The LiC here seeks to walk down the middle path by what he would call objective journalism by providing people with facts but not opinions siding with political parties.
This is in essence is being afraid to make a choice because someone would see you taking a side, kind of like what India did with NAM.
The newspaper can do one of two productive things, launch an investigation into the reasons behind the inflation rises or do a study and define a roadmap on how common people can combat such price rises.
Chindu unfortunately is not a economic specialist and does not want to be a political pundit by telling the CPM either to remove their support for the UPA government which has failed the common man or to support them through the decision making and wait for elections.
By doing this flip flopping LiC has shown the indeterminate gender he/she's made of.

veera said...

Qhile it may be true that UPA govt could have done more to rein in inflation, BJP led NDA was no better either..Infact they were worse in many ways..

When BJP was in power in 2004, international crude prices were at $40- $ 50 per barrel and now it is touching $150..What can the Govt do??

BJP minsiter Jaswant steeply hiked agriculture urea prices - an inhumane and stupid act which was even criticised by many BJP CMs..Farmer suicides actually started during BJP regime..

Even on corruption front, BJP has nothing to cheer..6 BJP Mps were caught in money for question scam, Bangaru Laxman was caught accepting money..in fact a BJP Mp is involved in human traffikking..

So in many ways, BJP is same as Congress..

Hindu Fundamentalist said...

veera,
if both bjp and congress are just as bad, why is chindu biased towards congress and against bjp? if the communists are opposing bjp, obviously there is something the bjp is doing right. i rest my case here. this blog is not about how good the bjp is.

Anonymous said...

remember karan thapar - he called for modi's sudden removal and openly declared himself to be a foot-soldier to Soniaji. He is running shows on cnbc-tv18 to tell us how upa is 'underselling' its achievements and how upa's economic record is better than NDA's.

well, UPA is such a stellar show. manmohan's rating is 70%. now explain why they are losing election after election, state after state.