Will You Get “Alternative GDP Data” Next?

If “alternative facts” are here, how far behind can “alternative statistics” be?

From Politico:

Federal agencies are clamping down on public information and social media in the early days of Donald Trump’s presidency, limiting employees’ ability to issue news releases, tweet, make policy pronouncements or otherwise communicate with the outside world, according to memos and sources from multiple agencies.

The steps to mute federal employees — seen to varying degrees in the Environmental Protection Agency and the departments of the Interior, Transportation, Agriculture and Health and Human Services — are sparking early fears of a broader crackdown across the government, as Trump vows to pursue an agenda sharply at odds with his predecessor.

Donald J. Trump has promised 3.5% to 4%. If the data do not cooperate, will the data be forced to cooperate?

For more see here. USDA here.

And here is the order to cease communication for the EPA:

Source: The Hill.

If you think it’s not possible, remember Nixon’s assault on the BLS.

Update, 10:30PM Pacific: Oops, I see Mark Thoma voiced his concerns already…

Update, 1/28 2:50PM Pacific: Perhaps relevant, Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the Constitution:

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

7 thoughts on “Will You Get “Alternative GDP Data” Next?

  1. AS

    Professor Chinn,
    Is it worth some of your time to comment for non-experts on John D. Muller’s opinion piece, “Trump’s Real Trade Problem is Money”, which appears in the 1/25/2017 edition on the WSJ?

  2. dilbert dogbert

    Our new Great Helmsman will let us know what to think. Will there be a new FBI dept of Right Think?
    Will there be American Samizdat?

  3. Tom

    Some context, from the Washington Post.

    “Many new administrations — including former president Barack Obama’s — have moved quickly to take control of the U.S. government’s public relations machinery and centralize decision-making upon taking office. But the sweeping nature of some of the new controls is unusual, and the fact that they come as departments have been communicating through an array of digital platforms has made the changes particularly visible.”

    Also from the Washington Post, the Politico story is wrong:
    ” “Contrary to erroneous media reports, HHS and its agencies continue to communicate fully about its work through all of its regular communication channels with the public, the media and other relevant audiences,” said a Health and Human Services official in an email. “There is no directive to do otherwise.” ”

    So the real question is whether this order is different or simply more visible due to social media.

  4. baffling

    considering these public agencies are taxpayer funded groups, all their work and all of their data should be made freely available to the public without restriction. if it is not already so, there should be a crime associated with any attempts to restrict the distribution of taxpayer funded work. transparency should be the goal, not secrets.

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