When I was growing up (this was the 1960’s) I assumed that if you read The New York Times every morning and watched Walter Cronkite at night, you knew what was going on. My belief in the sanctity and honesty of the news was first called into question when it turned out that the attack on the Destroyer Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964 didn’t actually happen. But this misreporting wasn’t the fault of the news media because nobody in those days imagined that a President could get up in front of the American people and just lie.
We were all very innocent in those days, by the way. That was then, this is now.
Now we assume that everything the government tells us is a lie. Or at least it probably or maybe isn’t true.
Except the problem is that the government isn’t doing the lying unless you want to believe that every, single number that the government generates to measure how we live our lives are numbers that are concocted out of what Grandpa used to call ‘bupkis’ (read: nonsense.)
Ever hear of an organization called the OECD? It’s a Paris-based group of 38 countries — Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development whose members publish and share socio-economic data which they claim to be accurate and true, so that we can have a better and more comprehensive understanding of how the world’s economy changes over time.
A country can’t join the OECD unless it collects and publishes relevant data on a regular basis. So, for example, there are currently 193 countries in the United Nations, but most are too undeveloped to even have the ability to collect data about their respective economies, never mind publish such data for the rest of the world to see.
In other words, the OECD represents what we call the ‘advanced’ countries, even though many of my compassionate friends believe that using such a term is not politically correct.
Right now, inflation in the OECD countries is running at 9.6%. Food price inflation in the overall OECD is 12.6%, in the United States the rate is 10%. Why are food prices higher than they were a year ago? Because — ready? — the increase in labor costs for getting food from the farm to the dinner table.
Yesterday we took a drive on Route 22, which runs north-south alongside the upper Hudson River in New York State. We drove through towns like New Lebanon, Cherry Plain and Berlin which are basically farm communities…