« Milk is mind-bogglingly cheap. | Main | PhD Vouchers »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Valuable information to keep in front of people in an era when data can be "lost" or discarded.

Linda, thanks. Have you ever spoken to Marvin about his work on history of the family in Prince Edward county (the ontario one)? It's absolutely fascinating stuff.

Adam Smith already observed that necessities include anything that is needed not only for survival and getting by, but participation in society as a member in good standing. That included the ability to wear a clean linen shirt every day.

Today, it includes cell phones, as without one it has become nearly impossible to make a phone call outside one's residence, without begging somebody to use *their* phone.

It also includes an own bedroom and fashion-appropriate clothing, shoes, and other accessories, so they are not treated as pariahs by the other kids. And that's not just by loudmouth bullies, but also silently by many others who decide they prefer to associate with somebody else. As an adult, it continues in a slightly different form by being questioned over not driving an income/image appropriate car, missing out on important conversation topics like the latest consumer widgets, entertainment shows, etc., leading to being cut out of conversations and eventually being socially sidelined, which at work also has material career consequences.

Also today you are expected to be able to go to some web site any time, or use an app to get some service that will simply not be given to you in any other form (or only at the price of increased inconvenience). So not only "cell" phone but "smart" phone.

When a business or institution has to contact you back, you are expected to give a cell phone number or email address, and you will be expected to be available to respond during business hours.

Great post Frances.

Livio - thanks! I hoped it might interest you.

If CPI is calculated wrong, then of course we know that all of Real GDP growth is wrong for that period. If CPI is underestimated then golly! GDP ends up bigger than expected. Well, that would be a sign of our excellent economic management.

Professor McInnis's story is also a valuable reminder that data is political. Its objectivity cannot be taken for granted. We do not know who made the decision to edit out "too high" rents from the CPI index, or why. We do not even know if the decision had any real consequences. But it is plausible that the understatement of rental prices and misrepresentation of inflation could have had political benefits for some people.

Every government everywhere would like to be able to print money and not have any consequences of inflation.

Thanks for bringing this to the public's attention, Frances.

Have you spoken to anybody at Statistics Canada about this? What is their response?

Amazed to learn that StatsCan may not publish, (& Econs don't demand!), complete, open, and detailed specifications for collection, publication and QC of any & all Data produced at public expense and/or used to determine flows of public funds.

Eric, no, I should I guess!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Search this site

  • Google

Blog powered by Typepad