"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Lifetime achievement in spin

According to the headline and body of a James McLeod report (not online, and buried on p. 4) of the Telegram today:

GDP down seven per cent, but stimulus working, province says

Since it awarded $800 million in infrastructure work, the province has doled out half of it, spreading economic stimulus across the province.

Nonetheless, on Thursday Finance Minister Jerome Kennedy said Newfoundland's GDP (gross domestic product) has been shrinking at a rate of seven per cent this year - far higher than previous predictions.


On the seven per cent GDP drop, Kennedy said that it really isn't a very good measurement in a small resource-based economy.

"The GDP will still perhaps remain in negative terms, but the economy appears to be faring quite well," he said. "GDP is one measurement - it's a measurement that will perhaps mean more when you're looking at a large economy like China or the U.S."
OK, don't worry, be happy. The GDP is just one measure.

Just like the employment numbers — down 5.3% in a year.

Or the size of the labour force — which has shrunk 1.6% in spring 2009 as compared to a year earlier.

Just one measurement. Two measurements. Three measurements. Like your age, it's only a number.

Nothing to worry about, say Danny Williams-Government. The people who, without any obvious sense of irony, can headline their puff release:

Economy Strong as Province to Tender Over a Billion Dollars This Fiscal Year

Such puffery is aimed at self-delusion, not public delusion. And it's working. Kudos to whoever — hi, David, Tansy! — came up with that header. Keep up the good work! It's just what you-know-who wants to hear and read.


At 2:00 PM, June 13, 2009 , Blogger Mark said...

Interesting choice of verb, infrastructure being "awarded"...


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