Bob Haase’s Another Can of Worms

Who Can You Believe?

You have probably seen the TV commercials with Governor Walker touting that Wisconsin now ranks number 1 in economic growth compared to all other states.  He is also talking about how good Wisconsin is doing in job creation compared to other states.  Most of this is based on a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia which is a forecast for the next six months.

If you look how Wisconsin ranks in economic growth and job growth compared to other states by other rating agencies, Wisconsin ranks as high as 17th and as low as 49th.  If you average all reporting agencies and University rankings, Wisconsin comes in somewhere around 34th which is up from last year where we were ranked at 41st.   

With this much of a discrepancy you have to wonder who is right.  One difference is that the governor is basing his figures on  projected job growth by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.  The other rankings such as those provided by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel are using actual statistics from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics  from March 2012 to March 2013 which ranks Wisconsin 34th. 

The good news is that Wisconsin continues to increase in its ranking for both economic growth and job growth regardless of which statistics are being used.  The problem is the accuracy of the numbers being used.  I think to compare apples with apples you need to compare actual numbers not projected numbers like the governor is doing.  I can project that I am going to shoot a 14 point buck during this year’s gun season, but there is a good chance that it may not happen.  I can provide a much more accurate report of my success at the end of the deer season.   For this reason I think we need to look at actual numbers not projected numbers.

The numbers being reported on the economic growth and job growth in Wisconsin vary so much that it causes you to wonder who you should believe.  Are we hearing the truth or what we would like to hear?  How can you tell who is really telling the truth?  There are so many numbers floating around that I don’t believe it is possible to know what the true numbers are.  Are these figures comparing apples to apples or apples to oranges?

I am neither a Democrat nor Republican and usually vote on who I think is the best candidate for the position.   With so much inaccurate and misleading information being provided by the candidates and independent rating agencies, I don’t know if I can determine what the truth really is.

I guess my point in all of this is to ask everyone not to believe everything they hear or read and use their best judgment based on more than one source.  Base your belief on actual statistical data not on projected data.  You may also have to base some of this on how you and those around you are being impacted and your trust in who is reporting the data.  One thing for sure is that is becoming more and more difficult to know what the truth really is!

Bob Haase is the host of “Outdoors Thursday” heard Thursday mornings at 9:10 a.m. on News-Talk 1450 KFIZ.