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Parody of Government Statistical Manipulations

04/04/2004
Several commentators have written about how the government manipulates various index numbers to produce better-looking results. Inflation is the most indirect means of government financing; as such governments have a vested interest in making it appear to be lower than it is. The CPI now is subject to a number of "refinements": food and energy are removed, rentals not home prices measure housing, computers and high-end goods are "deflated" by a "hedonic deflator" that measure quality, prices are "seasonally adjusted", etc. The Economist magazine recently ran a hilarious parody of these adjustments.
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