29 October 2007

Robo Chan's short-lived happiness

Modern news is full of numbers and we are easily lulled into taking them at face value. Full essay.


Anonymous said...

I'm pretty certain the GDP estimates are inflation-adjusted. getting GDP data in current (non inflation adjusted) figures is certainly possible, but normally flagged as such in the time series.
you are quite right, however, to point out that real GDP growth and per capita growth are different. but then you get into the whole problem of what counts as Singapore's population in the per cap. time series...

Anonymous said...

That is why all the media will tell you is some big numbers and not where to find the data. Even this survey and that survey mentioned cannot be verified, and they do not want to show you the data.

Surveys can be skewed. They will glorify those international survey that show their high rankings. Unfavourable surveys are rebutted by "we are unique".

Once awhile, you get these guys who used the word "majority". Where the hell is the "majority"? Don't talk about it, show me the real numbers and don't pull numbers alright.

"Most agree to the increase" - what does this means. What is "most"? You mean your own peers within the party, is it? Also, in the media, most interviewees (who agree to whatever they try to push) have no names, why?

Thin air suddenly can produce fantastic numbers.

Anonymous said...

besides inflation and population increase, the amount of capital that needed to be invested to produce rises in GDP is an important consideration: those who provided the capital would want to take a portion of the increased wealth; in singapore the government and GLCs generate a great deal of investment and the portion returned to the government linked sector must be quite considerable; further, such capital intensive activities usually also require highly qualified manpower, which may needed to be imported to develop sectors requiring complex new technology

because of these factors, the actual benefit received by an individual worker may be much less than one might be led to think by the GDP news