Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics, Government Statistics and Official Government Statisics in troubled times!
We've all been conscious of the statistics brought out by Indian authorities.
Many of the figures are especially heart-breaking to the real "aam-aadmi", and hilarious to those who understand economics.
Especially in the areas of:
- Official Inflation figures - Week after week, the official figures are in single digits. Wonder if they have ever gone out to buy vegetables, buy groceries, catch a cab or auto, filled up their fuel tanks, bought some jewels, watched a movie, dined out at a restaurant, booked an apartment, etc. If the government officials had actually spent any money of their own on any of these activities, they would know that the "real" inflation experienced by you and me is at least in low double digits, if not upwards of 20% per annum.
- Defining "Poverty" for the purpose of providing subsidies to "Below Poverty Line" families
- Determining "Market Rates" while determining compensation levels for acquiring land from farmers
Many of us would have been under the impression that "This happens only in India".
Apparently not. Obfuscation of reality in financial matters is another area where we've learnt a great deal from the west!
Take a look at this article about the GDP figures for USA and you'll realise that the Western Government economists are as adept as we are in the art of generating "figures that please the boss":