The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Letters

October 17, 2012

Integrity of statistics

I would like to respond to the editorial cartoon which portrayed President Obama as a professional cyclist, touting "7.8 percent unemployment," eliciting "Even Lance Armstrong thinks this smells fishy. …"

As I read it, the cartoonist is implying that the recent overall unemployment number from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was somehow manipulated for the benefit of the president The BLS is a nonpartisan agency, and has nothing to gain from falsely reporting employment statistics, and in fact takes great pains to ensure that the data they gather and report on is not tampered with. One can legitimately question whether an increase or decrease in the overall unemployment figures is significant or not, and how policies have altered it, but the number itself is unarguable. Until now, nobody from either party has questioned the accuracy of BLS statistics, and those who are currently doing so owe the men and women in the BLS an apology for questioning their integrity.

Peter Whitcopf,

Selinsgrove

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