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FI0921 Basic Statistics

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British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”  Statistics can be manipulated to show almost anything if the presenter is skilled in statistics and the audience is not.  If you don’t believe me watch the news.  It happens nightly.

Before I give an example, let me tell you that today’s post is a military correspondence course on Basic Statistics.

Only those ignorant in statistics can say that if:

  • Group A have 95% support for something (say keeping the government running and have 271 votes for and only 5 against
  • Group B has 5% support of the same thing – with 11 yes votes and 229 votes against then it is the fault of group A that the issue did not pass.

Yes I am talking about the insane idea that it was the Republican’s fault the budget did not pass in January 2018.

I use this as an example of the intentional misuse of data, not because I am glad the federal government shut down.  I have no problem with the Fed’s being shut down.

On one hand most of what they do is unconstitutional on the basis of the 10th Amendment.  The reason is practical.  the true functions of the government don’t stop.  Our soldiers are still fighting and those emergency workers will get paid as soon as the asshats in congress stop playing politics and vote in a budget.

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