A Lesson in Objectivity

November 19, 2008 | By Paul Mackenzie Ross | Filed in: finance, philosophy.

I come home to a news report on the TV, warning of the fear that because inflation is down today, there is a grave worry that it could go MUCH further with the economy threatened, unemployment to rise, doom and gloom could be upon us in the form of deflation, when everything “goes south” and even wages start going down.

In other news, a friend warns that Barack Obama is NOT a big fan of Internet privacy and that he will want to know more about you than it seems George W Bush ever did under the auspices of the Patriot Act.

OMG. Panic! What do we do?

The reallity of it all is that the Consumer Price Index was at its target 2% in October 2007 according to ONS stats and hit its peak of 5.2% in September 2008 before dropping back to 4.5% in October this year as oil and house prices have slumped, food prices have fallen too, along with that all important demand that drives inflation in the first place. Inflation could simply return to that magical 2% figure, and life could be as it was before. If not, inflation could fall to as little as 1%, but that’s not headline news, so I suppose doom is a worthy accompaniment to your evening meal. Yes, inflation could go lower, but according to the Bank of England, it will probably stay above zero.

Your Internet privacy, such as your facebook rants and your multiple pseudonyms and anonymous blog commentary, are indeed very firmly in the sights of Barack Obama. You must declare your online identities and worry about every stupid thing you’ve ever said under your own name and made-up ones… if you’re looking for a place on the Whitehouse staff, that is. Well why didn’t you say that in the first place? I got all worried for a moment there.

And that leads on nicely to the great article I read today entitled The Myth of Record Debt. It would be so easy to twist figures to convey the point I need to make or to omit words or facts to suit a narrow agenda. But that’s not the way I live my life nor conduct my business. There’s a time and a place for using your imagination and unleashing your creativity but when reporting facts it is inappropriate for the use of either.


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