Two more Census workers blow the whistle

So this is how they’re going to fix the job situation? Fire and rehire the same person over and over, and call each rehiring a newly created job? Typical government “logic,” and hopefully the American people are too busy (or stupid) to notice, or care.

From The New York Post:

You know the old saying: “Everyone loves a charade.” Well, it seems that the Census Bureau may be playing games.

Last week, one of the millions of workers hired by Census 2010 to parade around the country counting Americans blew the whistle on some statistical tricks.

The worker, Naomi Cohn, told The Post that she was hired and fired a number of times by Census. Each time she was hired back, it seems, Census was able to report the creation of a new job to the Labor Department.

Below, I have a couple more readers who worked for Census 2010 and have tales to tell.

But first, this much we know.

Each month Census gives Labor a figure on the number of workers it has hired. That figure goes into the closely followed monthly employment report Labor provides. For the past two months the hiring by Census has made up a good portion of the new jobs.

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Obama: Recovery Act created and saved over one million jobs

This number just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

From Raw Story:

US President Barack Obama said Saturday the United States was recovering from deep recession and that “hundreds of thousands of jobs” had been created through massive investments.

The president cited this week’s report on gross domestic product, pointing out that in the third quarter, GDP grew for the first time in over a year — and faster than it has in the previous two years.

“Today, I am pleased to offer some better news that – while not cause for celebration – is certainly reason to believe that we are moving in the right direction,” the president said in his weekly radio address.

Obama said the 787-billion-dollar Recovery Act stimulus package passed earlier this year had helped create or save over one million jobs.

Data posted on Recovery.gov, the website of the independent panel overseeing the stimulus measure, showed 640,329 jobs directly saved or created up until September 30.

Since the survey data only accounts for half the spending during that time, officials say the true number of jobs created is over a million.

Republicans, however, accused the administration of making up job creation numbers “out of thin air” to disguise the failure of Obama’s economic policies.

Unemployment remains a key hurdle to sustained recovery, with the latest monthly figures in September pushing the jobless rate to a new 26-year high of 9.8 percent, with job losses accelerating to 263,000.

However, Obama said there was reason for optimism.

“We’ve saved jobs by closing state budget shortfalls to prevent the layoffs of hundreds of thousands of police officers, firefighters, and teachers who are today on the beat, on call, and in the classroom because of the Recovery Act,” Obama said.

“And we’ve also created hundreds of thousands of jobs through the largest investment in our roads since the building of the interstate highways, and through the largest investments in education, medical research, and clean energy in history.”

The president however warned that a lot of work still lay ahead and said that he wanted to create an economy where jobs were readily available and incomes were rising again.

“The economy we seek is one that’s no longer based on maxed out credits cards, wild speculation, and the old cycles of boom or bust – but rather one that’s built on a solid foundation, supporting growth that is strong, sustained, and broadly shared by middle class families across America,” Obama said.

This video was released by the White House on Oct. 31, 2009.

Stimulus creates 640,000 jobs

Let’s see… $150 billion to create 640,000 jobs works out to a cost of $234,375/job created. This works out to an average annual salary of about $40K for about 6 years for each job. How many of these jobs are going to last that long?

There is no way to determine how many jobs were “saved” because no one collects this type of statistic. Also, coming a day or two after this makes me wonder how many jobs were actually created and how reliable this new statistic is. The article mentions that out of this 640K jobs “as many as 30,000 jobs [came] from private companies.” Where did the other 610,000 come from? Government jobs?

Finally, at a cost of $234K per job, couldn’t more people have been helped by just giving everyone cash?

From CNN:

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney.com) — The largest stimulus program in the nation’s history has created or saved about 640,000 jobs, the Obama administration said Friday.

Based on approximately $150 billion in spending from the $787 billion recovery package, the tally is the first broad, concrete look at the stimulus program’s impact on the economy. The numbers are drawn from tens of thousands of reports from state and local recipients and include as many as 30,000 jobs from private companies.

The Obama administration continued to maintain that the actual number of jobs created so far is closer to 1 million. The reports did not reflect measures such as tax cuts, boosted unemployment benefits or jobs created indirectly by stimulus spending. A total of $339 billion has been drawn down so far under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“Every dollar being spent from Recovery Act is helping put someone back to work,” said Vice President Joe Biden. “My message today is that we’re on track.”

The Obama administration is expected to announce further details about jobs on Friday afternoon, after the government posts complete reports online on its stimulus data tracker Recovery.gov. Already, the administration revised the figures downward from an initial 650,000 announced early in the morning. Each job cost $234,000 to create.

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US government’s claims of 30,000 stimulus jobs overstated by thousands

From Yahoo! News:

A Colorado company said it created 4,231 jobs with the help of President Barack Obama’s economic recovery plan. The real number: fewer than 1,000.

A child care center in Florida said it saved 129 jobs with the help of stimulus money. Instead, it gave pay raises to its existing employees.

Elsewhere in the U.S., some jobs credited to the stimulus program were counted two, three, four or even more times.

The government has overstated by thousands the number of jobs it has created or saved with federal contracts under the president’s $787 billion recovery program, according to an Associated Press review of data released in the program’s first progress report.

But the 30,000 figure is overstated by thousands — at the very least by nearly 5,000, or one in six, based on AP’s limited review of some of the contracts — because some federal agencies and recipients of the money provided incorrect job counts. The review found some counts were more than 10 times as high as the actual number of jobs; some jobs were credited to stimulus spending when, in fact, none were produced.

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Pielke Senior on the Borenstein AP statistics article

The AP had a group of statistic experts examine two sets of temperature data which the AP supplied. The experts came to the conclusion that based on the data, there is no cooling trend as has been reported. However, this article examines some of the flaws in the methodology employed by the experts. Definitely worth reading.

From WattsUpWithThat.com:

Comments On AP Story “Statistics Experts Reject Global Cooling Claims”

There is a news report titled “Statistics experts reject global cooling claims” by Seth Borenstein which appeared today.

The article reads

“WASHINGTON — The Earth is still warming, not cooling as some global warming skeptics are claiming, according to an analysis of global temperatures by independent statistics experts.

The review of years of temperature data was conducted at the request of The Associated Press. Talk of a cooling trend has been spreading on the Internet, fueled by some news reports, a new book and temperatures that have been cooler in a few recent years.

The statisticians, reviewing two sets of temperature data, found no trend of falling temperatures over time. And U.S. government figures show that the decade that ends in December will be the warmest in 130 years of record-keeping.

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Study: 45,000 Americans die each year for lack of insurance

My question is, “Are these people dying because they don’t have insurance?” Also, here’s another question: “How many die each year who do have insurance?” Who commissioned this study? And once government gets involved in healthcare, will someone do a study to determine how many people die each year because of healthcare rationing? Anyone who knows anything about statistics and studies knows that it isn’t difficult to come up with figures that support whatever conclusion you want to come to.

From Raw Story:

Harvard researchers published Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health a study which reveals roughly 45,000 American adults die every year because they are not covered by health insurance.

Researchers specifically noted that lack of health insurance now kills more adults than kidney disease.

The American Journal of Public Health is a subscription-only service. Physics.org reported:

Lead author Dr. Andrew Wilper, who worked at Harvard Medical School when the study was done and who now teaches at the University of Washington Medical School, said, “The uninsured have a higher risk of death when compared to the privately insured, even after taking into account socioeconomics, health behaviors and baseline health. We doctors have many new ways to prevent deaths from hypertension, diabetes and heart disease – but only if patients can get into our offices and afford their medications.”

The study, which analyzed data from national surveys carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), assessed death rates after taking education, income and many other factors including smoking, drinking and obesity into account. It estimated that lack of health insurance causes 44,789 excess deaths annually.

Previous estimates from the IOM and others had put that figure near 18,000. The methods used in the current study were similar to those employed by the IOM in 2002, which in turn were based on a pioneering 1993 study of health insurance and mortality.

During a Thursday rally, President Barack Obama promised a University of Maryland crowd, “Because you voted for change in November, we’re going to bring change.”

The United States was “on the cusp” of fulfilling the promise of easier access to higher education, which is very costly, and of changing the health care system, which Obama said was a defining issue for the current generation.

“One in three adults who don’t have health insurance live one accident away from bankruptcy,” the president said, his speech regularly interrupted by deafening cheers and at one point by a lone heckler, who shouted “child killer” as Obama began his speech.

The president never broke his stride, and the heckler was quickly ushered out of the stadium by security guards.

The rally was the latest sign that Obama is now hitting back hard at opponents to his proposed reforms who hogged the media spotlight last month by disrupting town hall meetings held to explain and promote the president’s vision for change.

It was also a bid by Obama’s behind-the-scenes team, whose near flawless handling of his campaign took him from the bottom rungs of the US Senate to the White House, to boost the president’s popularity ratings.

Obama’s poll numbers have fallen over the past few months as politicians dickered over health care and the public reacted to what it saw as excessive government spending.

“It’s time to put our shoulders to the wheel of history,” Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, acting as a warm-up man for the president, told the exuberant crowd inside the University of Maryland’s 20,000-seat basketball stadium before Obama arrived.

“We are closer than ever before to building a health care system that America can be proud of. We cannot let this opportunity slip by,” he said as the crowd whooped and cheered.

How UK Government spun 136 people into 7m illegal file sharers

This is a pretty decent article detailing how to manipulate numbers in such a way that you can back up your position on something. This particular incident involves file sharing statistics, but the process can be applied to anything, like global warming, justifying government health care or anything else you need to “prove.”

From PCPro:

The British Government’s official figures on the level of illegal file sharing in the UK come from questionable research commissioned by the music industry, the BBC has revealed.

The Radio 4 show More or Less – which is devoted to the “often abused but ever ubiquitous world of numbers” – decided to examine the Government’s claim that 7m people in Britain are engaged in illegal file sharing.

The 7m figure comes from the Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property, a Government advisory body.

As if the Government taking official statistics directly from partisan sources wasn’t bad enough, the BBC reporter Oliver Hawkins also found that the figures were based on some highly questionable assumptions

The Advisory Board claimed it commissioned the research from a team of academics at University College London, who it transpires got the 7m figure from a paper published by Forrester Research.

The More or Less team hunted down the relevant Forrester paper, but could find no mention of the 7m figure, so they contacted the report’s author Mark Mulligan.

Mulligan claimed the figure actually came from a report he wrote about music industry losses for Forrester subsidiary Jupiter Research. That report was privately commissioned by none other than the music trade body, the BPI.

Fudged figures

As if the Government taking official statistics directly from partisan sources wasn’t bad enough, the BBC reporter Oliver Hawkins also found that the figures were based on some highly questionable assumptions.

The 7m figure had actually been rounded up from an actual figure of 6.7m. That 6.7m was gleaned from a 2008 survey of 1,176 net-connected households, 11.6% of which admitted to having used file-sharing software – in other words, only 136 people.

It gets worse. That 11.6% of respondents who admitted to file sharing was adjusted upwards to 16.3% “to reflect the assumption that fewer people admit to file sharing than actually do it.” The report’s author told the BBC that the adjustment “wasn’t just pulled out of thin air” but based on unspecified evidence.

The 6.7m figure was then calculated based on the estimated number of people with internet access in the UK. However, Jupiter research was working on the assumption that there were 40m people online in the UK in 2008, whereas the Government’s own Office of National Statistics claimed there were only 33.9m people online during that year.

If the BPI-commissioned Jupiter research had used the Government’s online population figures, the total number of file sharers would be 5.6m. If the researchers hadn’t adjusted their figures upwards, the total number of file sharers would be only 3.9m – or just over half the figure being bandied about by the Government.