Friday, May 9, 2008

First you have to start with the facts ...

.. if you want to solve a problem.

That is, a clear-eyed facing of the truth provides the best chance for dealing with a crisis. If, on the other hand, you lie about the problem -- especially to yourself -- then solving it is out if the question.

Unfortunately the Bush administration's reaction to unpleasant facts to to hide them, deny them and ignore them. For example, the government's "core inflation" figures strip out food and fuel because those are "too volatile." But, of course, right now those are precisely the costs that are killing us! And real-life consumers can't "strip out" those costs. They have to pay them.

This brings up the wider problem of the government's official inflation measure, which critics say is off the mark anyway, outside of the food/fuel issue because it's adjusted incorrectly when compared to real-life costs of living. For example, by the former methodology the inflation rate is much worse now. My own personal experience tracks the old number better than the new one.

It's a dangerous game the government plays when it fiddles with its reputation for credibility. As the Communists eventually found out, once lost it's impossible to regain.

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