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View Diary: The CIA Revises US Income Inequality ranking after unfavorable citation on The Daily Show (44 comments)

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  •  Never assume malice where incompetence will do (1+ / 0-)
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    la urracca

    It's much simpler to imagine that somebody was slow in updating data and perhaps decided to get on the ball after seeing that on the Daily show, rather than assume a whole mess of clandestine meetings and memoranda designed to tweak numbers, metrics, policies, etc. to arrive at figures that what? still put us several spots below Rwanda? Give me a break.

    •  This is not normal bureaucracy (1+ / 0-)
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      Marie

      This is the CIA; it's what they do.

      The fact that their little public-facing list could change so drastically, quickly and conveniently ought to give a hint as to the quality and nature of their general information-collecting.

      •  I love to be cynical and skeptical (2+ / 0-)
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        Catte Nappe, Marie

        particularly about some parts of our government, but the CIA Fact Book is actually a pretty decent source of all sorts of information about various countries, from their current political leaders, to its geographic features, their major exports, to, yes, their Gini coefficients.  Link to Japan's page is here, just for example.  I opened the economy section, but the other ones open as well.  
        https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ja.html

        I've worked in a field using economic numbers, and I've never found anything particularly "off" about the numbers reported on this site.

        Now, American in Chiang Mai :)

        by American in Kathmandu on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 07:56:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I won't dispute that (1+ / 0-)
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          Marie

          the Fact Book numbers are generally accurate, I've certainly used them for general purposes. It's accurate enough that it's hard to find any hint of controversy regarding easy-to-corroborate data. The Fact Book certainly serves the purpose of generating good will, something an organization long associated with regime destabilization, assassinations, and unaccountable black projects (aka "counter-terrorism") probably is happy to use. That noted, it doesn't mean that they can't or won't fudge to suit their purposes (or give in to political pressure). I am skeptical of a sudden 25-position jump in Gini standing. Either this is "oops, our bad" or whoever curates that data was pressured to change it. Either option doesn't reflect well on them.

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