Definition of Statistics: The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures ~ Evan Esar (1899 to 1995) an American humorist who wrote Esar's Comic Dictionary 1943, "Humorous English" in 1961, and 20,000 Quips and Quotes in 1968.
The following monologue is an excerpt from the Thom Hartmann Radio Program, 8/17/2011, which I edited for brevity and clarity. Thom's rant concerns Texas Governor (and 2012 presidential candidate) Rick Perry's claims of job creation in his state...
Thom Hartmann: Rick Perry is running around saying, quote, "Since June of 2009, Texas is responsible for more than 40 percent of all of the new jobs created in America. Now think about that. We’re home to less than 10 percent of the population in America, but 40 percent of all the new jobs were created in that state". End of quote.
Now, notice that he says since the end of June 2009. If you go back to 2008, jobs actually grew faster in Massachusetts (a classic example of "figures don't lie, but liars can figure"). And secondly, Texas has actually done worse than the rest of the country in increasing rates of unemployment. In fact they are the worst in the country, in terms of how rapidly unemployment has increased in the state.
Why? For the exact same reason why they have created more jobs than any other state - because over 437 thousand people of working age people (it's probably over a million when you consider their spouses and children) have moved into Texas. Many of them from Mexico. Many of them from surrounding states. But because Texas by-and-large doesn't enforce anti-immigration laws like Arizona, a lot of illegal immigrants are moving out of Arizona into Texas, and because Texas hasn't a higher minimum wage than any other state, you've got a lot of cheap labor in that state. A lot of cheap labor.
So, 437 thousand people moved into the state, and the state only created 126 thousand jobs. So, Texas has seen an explosion in unemployment. Over 300 thousand people - the most rapid explosion of unemployment in the entire United States. At the same time they created more jobs.
I would submit, that probably the major factor, is that because of Senate bill 1070 in Arizona, people who are in Arizona illegally... or simply people who are in Arizona and committing the crime of walking down the street while being Hispanic, even if they're American citizens... those people are saying screw this hostile atmosphere, I'll go to Texas, where people are actually, in many parts of Texas, proud of the fact that they're bilingual, and a lot of people have Mexican heritage. People who are 5th generation American Texans, are proud of their Mexican heritage.
So you've got a lot of people moving out of Arizona and into Texas. But while 126 thousand of them found a job, 300 thousand of them didn't. It turns out Rick Perry is really wrong. But expect him to repeat it... it's his lie.
Note: If you are a subscriber to the Thom Hartmann program podcast, the location of this segment of audio can be found at 13:30 to 17:03 of Hour 2 on Wednesday August 17 of 2011.