Monday, February 8, 2010

What are the 10 scariest words?

Hello,we're from the government and we're here to help!That should send you running for cover.This year we are blessed with not only tax day upcoming,we can also look for our census in the mail next month so we get an extra chance to get up close and personal with our government.

The census will be heavily advertised as 10 questions in ten minutes.True,but only for the head of the household.Seven more questions for each additional member.Then maybe you'll really be fortunate and get selected to take part in the American Community Survey.2% of us will and this is the really invasive one that replaces the old long form survey.Of course,lots of fines and potential jail time if you don't take part.Sure has come a long way from the founders intent of just a head count as spelled out in the constitution.

I recently posted about the legitimacy of the Bureau of Labor statistics and their accuracy in reporting the unemployment numbers.This spring will be a good test as the temp workers hired to enforce the filling out of the census will skew the numbers.

The BLS forecasting models need to be overhauled or politicians have infiltrated here as well to mold these numbers.Every year the January numbers are artificially low just as they will compensate in April.It's generally because seasonal hirings aren't factored in.Based on past history which you can access on the BLS website,we are in for a spike in April-May that will push the rate over 11%.Let's watch and see.

There are several of these swings over the course of a year and in theory they will all balance out when looking at the long term.This time around,the flaws in the BLS forecasting have really been exposed as the rate doesn't match up with reality.Anyone can verify this just by taking their own informal survey of people they know.

A company called TrimTabs does employment analysis and they track actual deposits of income tax withholdings into the Treasury.Their numbers are significantly higher than the BLS and would seem to better reflect who's actually working rather than using a household survey as the BLS does.Check out Mish's blog for more details.

There is a lot riding on both the census numbers and the unemployment numbers,particularly in this important election year.The government tells us they are simply trying to help us by insuring the resources of the government are fairly distributed.Sounds great,but I'm still ducking for cover.More to come...

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