A recession is when you lose your job, a depression is when I lose mine

“Davies’ explanation of statistics as, “…tools designed to simplify the job of government, for better or worse” was something that I had never thought about before. This simplification is implicit in data aggregation, but I never spent time thinking about the concept before. I think that just by including this idea as a disclaimer when using data is powerful in and of itself. I think a lot of the skepticism of statistics comes from who collects the data. For example, if someone is generally distrustful of the government, then they will question the data government collects. If it’s possible, providing data that is collected by organizations or institutions or sectors that the data can help to explain could lend objectivity. For example, I both of my campaign pieces I use statistics compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics (OpenSecrets.org, which I highly recommend for any interested parties). For most of the data on the site, the candidates and organizations are required by law to submit what they are receiving or donating. To me, that lends credibility. In this instance, there is no expertise because it’s essentially just regurgitation of information. By portraying data providers as messengers reduces their “elitist” qualities.

One thought on “A recession is when you lose your job, a depression is when I lose mine

  1. I like what you had to say about how if a person already does not trust the government, they probably will not trust the statistics that politicians talk about. Although it is important for all of these facts to be available, statistics are not always the best way to reach people. A lot of times I think people want to feel like politicians are trying to connect with them and actually care about them. But when you are treated like just another number in a crowd, it is hard to feel that personal connection. I really like the title you gave this post. I think it does a really good job of communicating the your message. People want to feel like their personal experiences matter. For example, if someone is employed and they here the unemployment rate in the United States, they focus on that the rate is pretty low, but if someone is unemployed, when they hear that same unemployment rate, they will not hear it as a good thing.

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