Numbers without any Meaning

President DFF was out spreading lies again this weekend, oh, and using totally misleading numbers. I have discussed before numbers like the national debt which have no meaning whatsoever until compared to our earnings. Example: I only have $10,000 is total debt is meaningless unless we know your income to service that debt. If you are jobless, you are in deep kimchi. National debt has no meaning until we know the nation’s GDP (earnings). This discussion is part of my never-ending crusade to promote critical thinking.

As a project manager I was involved in building the Chemical Demilitarization Facility in Tooele Utah. It was a massive concrete facility to take apart chemical munition and then destroy the chemical nerve agents (and blister agents). Progress and schedule are almost everything in construction (along with safety and quality). So in our monthly progress meeting I am looking at a slide that says the contractor placed 100 tons (I am making these number up) tons of concrete and 40 tons of steel this week (Yes these were heavily reinforced walls). Say what? Big numbers, but meaningless unless you know what was scheduled that month. Numbers are always relative to something else to be meaningful. A restaurant rated as a 5 is only meaningful if you know it is a 10 point scale. If it is a 5 point scale, you may pass over something wonderful.

Obvious right? So there is President DFF out spewing numbers this weekend which he thought were really, really big in his limit vernacular, but were either meaningless or misleading because we don’t have the rest of the story. This is probably okay with the Trumpets as anything he says or does is just peachy. But for the rest of us whose brain has not been eatened by some horrible stupid virus, we need the context. So here is some examples from the NYT this morning fact checking the guy:

“ISIS, we have 98% of the land back.”

True, but what has he done in policy or approach other than continue on Obama Administration policies? Nothing. This is one of his trademark tactics, taking credit for other people’s work as you will see in the following.

“So we’ve created three million jobs since Election Day. Nobody thought that was possible.”

Actually it was totally expected since Obama created 2.6 million jobs during the last 13 months of his administration, and he is taking credit for Obama’s job numbers from November through January which was about 500,000 jobs, so in comparison to Obama he only created 2.5 million jobs. We are on the same curve basically with the same slope.  Where is the massive improvement from the tax cut and slashing regulations?  Oh those numbers.  I guess those of us who did not think that was possible were those of us that thought the economy would crash by now under President DFF, but that is coming.

“African-American unemployment two months ago reached the lowest level in history and last month it went up a little bit, right? And I made the mistake, because I didn’t know it went up, and it wasn’t quite as good but it wasn’t historic. So I was in a different month and I said un employment is the lowest level in history. They killed me. Because it was the previous month. But here’s the good news. The new month brought it down to the lowest level. So now it’s the lowest level.”

Same lie.  He is taking credit for a trend that the economy under President Obama was on, decreasing African-American unemployment steadily from 16.4 percent in August 2011 to 7.8 percent in January 2017, right before Mr. Trump took office.  Get the trend (no pun intended).  And one might ask, as part of critical thinking, what has President DFF done for African-Americans?  What policy directly affected them?  None.  Once again he is taking credit for what his supporters would never give President Obama credit for.

Now here is one that is a lie, and should worry you:

“We spent $7 trillion in the Middle East over a 17-year period, $7 trillion as of three months ago”

First it is false. Best estimate we have according to the NYT is $1.88 trillion between 2001 and 2017.  That is still a lot of money, whose spending started by who again?  No, not Obama, Bush.  The $7 trillion number comes from extending out the costs to 2053 and includes veteran’s care, terrorism-prevention spending, etc.  So first, he does not understand the numbers he is spewing, and second if he is going to get that down are we going to cut veteran’s care and terror prevention?

So the conclusion here is that either he does not understand what the numbers mean, or he does not care and just lies to puff up his ego.  But what is really sad is that I would bet it would not be just the Trumpets who did not get these lies, but a large part of the American public that does not think critically.  Time to start.

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