Lies, Damned Lies, And Statistics

A Blog by Gary LaPierre
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(WBZ NewsRadio Contributor)

(WBZ NewsRadio Contributor)

From what I understand, a lot of people over years of history have used the above phrase and didn’t attribute it to anyone.   Mark Twain is perhaps best known for using “lies, damned lies, and statistics” back in the early 1900’s and Twain gave attribution to Prime Minister Disraeli, even though no one can find any record that Disraeli ever used it.    So here we are in the early 2000’s and most Americans wouldn’t know a “lie”…..or a “damned lie” if it hit ‘em in the butt, and even if you had some “statistics” to back up your “lie”, it wouldn’t matter because right now our society is thriving on it.    Twain suggested there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics but right here in 2012 there are more kinds of lies than we can count….in politics alone.
     What got me started on this rant is a column this week from Thomas Sowell.  His perspective piece is entitled “Big lies in politics” and man I haven’t seen anything quite some timely in months.  Check it out at
www.tsowell.com and you’ll see what I mean.
     We’ve been listening to politicians lie for years, but the pace is building fast and furious right now between Obama and Romney and two men of seemingly good character will lie through their shiny white teeth like a kid caught with one hand in the cookie jar…….”I was just getting a cookie for youuuu!”
     Sowell’s column says “the fact that so many successful politicians are such shameless liars….is not only a reflection on them, it is also a reflection on us. When people want the impossible, only liars can satisfy them, and only in the short run.”
     You’re heard it said….”nothing is sacred anymore” and boy is that the truth; no lie there.  It really makes you wonder why any self-respecting person would want to submit themselves to the kind of scrutiny required in the political arena, but we continue on.   Is the unemployment rate going down?   Yes!  That’s a “lie!”   If the unemployment rate went down, does that mean more people are working?  Yes!   That’s a “damned lie!”  Well how did the rate go from 9.6 to 9.1 percent?  That’s a statistic which will be explained when the seasonal adjustments are made.

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