“Unemployment Rate” and “Infant Mortality” Are Dangerously Misleading

The Internet Age has made information abundantly available in a way not even imaginable a generation ago.  But like most things in life, an excess brings drawbacks.  The flood of data being thrown at us can cause us to forego rational processing in self-defense.  As a result, it can provide opportunities for us to be bamboozled on critical issues.

“Unemployment  Rate”

The term “unemployment rate” was useful at one time.  Back in the simpler days of a “dog-eat-dog” business mentality, it gave our more benevolent federal government the information it needed to gauge funding for assistance programs and so forth.

Now, with a “dog-eat-employee” climate, many workers are pushed into less than full-time status.  So, Big Brother repeatedly ignores that and tells us cheerfully that the unemployment for June held steady at 7.6% which is below the 10% of four years ago.

This disregards the fact that part-time workers increased by 322,000 to 8.2 million. Consequently, we actually have an unadjusted rate of 14.6% for “labor underutilization.” And, as Gary Burtless, a senior fellow of economic studies at the Brooking Institute adds, “Of course, none of these indicators tells us the number of full-time or part-time workers who hold jobs in occupations that are far below their occupational and educational qualifications levels.”1

We can’t fix the problem when we can’t define it.

“Infant  Mortality”

This statistic is the most deceptive of all of the numbers tossed at us periodically.  A week ago, the Cincinnati Enquirer ran its usual Sunday headline feature on a local issue.  That week’s article, “A Crying Shame,” described some of the regional increases in early childhood deaths and an organization, Every Child Succeeds, which is trying to improve the chances of our little ones.2

A noble cause indeed.  It also mentioned the number of “at-risk pregnant women waiting for services.”  However, the data was presented in the standard format: “deaths before age 1 per 1,000 live births.”  As a parallel to the unemployment segment, “back in the good ol’ days” when unborn babies were properly respected and cared for by most, “deaths per 1,000 live births” was an accurate way to judge pediatric progress. Unfortunately, the 6.1 deaths per 1,000 live births in the U.S. in a recent year2 is but a tip of the iceberg risk facing the most vulnerable humans.

My approximation of a revised “baby mortality”:  Due to the fact that abortions are estimated,3  I will use the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life’s approximation of 1,212,400 abortions to be joined with the U.S. Census data showing 3,999,386 live births in the U.S. for 2010.  This gives us a baby mortality of 303 abortion deaths per 1,000 live births.

Our motto should be, “Every Child Born, Then Succeeds.”


1 – Jennifer Waters, www.marketwatch.com, The Wall Street Journal, 7/5/2013
2 – Mark Curnutte, “A Crying Shame,” Cincinnati Enquirer, 7/7/2013.  The article included data from many countries (e.g. Canada 4.9, Russia 9.8, Bolivia 39.9, India 47.2 and Nigeria 78)
3 – “…there are no laws requiring abortionists to report to any national agency the numbers of abortions they perform,” Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, www.mccl.org


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