There is an old saying that if you have a favourite food, never find out how it’s made. You may no longer be able to eat it.
Today we will apply the same principle to liberals’ favourite ‘fact’ about the Indian economy: the ‘leaked NSSO data’ that shows that unemployment has reached a 45 year high.
Today we will find out how this number was calculated (cooked?). What are the components that went into this number?
So let me tell you some ‘facts’ about India.
Did you know who was the greatest beneficiary of demonetization? It was the casual workers, the ones who work in the informal sector and have to live on daily wages that are mostly paid in cash.
And do you know who suffered the most? It was salaried workers, usually the ones who get their pay credited directly to their bank accounts every month by their employer.
When demonetization hit, the formal economy apparently ran out of internet connections. Instead, the informal economy did very well, apparently because demonetization increased the availability of ready cash they do business in.
Don’t believe me? I’m not kidding. The ‘NSSO data’ actually found this. Real wages (i.e, inflation-adjusted wages) of casual workers are up by 22% between 2011 and 2017. On the other hand, the real wages of salaried workers are down by nearly 20% since 2011 and 2017.
Thank you demonetization for ushering in economic justice on a scale unprecedented in world history. And thank you, Surjit Bhalla, for uncovering all the good news in the ‘leaked NSSO data’.
You’ve all heard about the ‘leaked NSSO data’. The one that Modi sarkar is apparently trying to suppress. You know, the one that supposedly shows unemployment in India has reached a 45 year high. The liberal media just can’t stop talking about it.
But what the liberal media won’t tell you is how much good news is there in the same ‘leaked NSSO data’.
For instance, did you know just how well the rural economy is doing? It’s going so good that people are leaving the cities and going back to villages to enjoy the boom in the rural economy. According to ‘NSSO data’, India’s urbanization has dipped from 31% in 2011 to 29% now!
Rural distress? What rural distress?
And to think that all our media have left behind their comfortable homes in Lutyens Delhi to understand the ‘rural distress’ in the countryside. Come back! Stop wasting your time. Come back to the big city, which is now less crowded according to ‘NSSO data’! Leave the crowded villages behind and come back to our empty cities!
As if that was not good news enough, did you know that India’s population has declined too? The ‘NSSO data’ also finds that India’s population is just 107 crore people and not 130 crore people.
There is only one explanation for this is that 23 crore Indians must be currently on vacation abroad, enjoying the sights of New York and Paris. And liberals say the economy isn’t doing well! Come on!
Defines belief? Yes! But these are the numbers that went into calculating (cooking?) the number of ‘unemployment at 45 year high’. You can’t choose to believe the headline number and refuse the components that went into it.
What is shocking is that until now, nobody in media or intelligentsia seems to have put in the bare minimum effort to carry out a sanity check on the ‘leaked NSSO data’. The media simply ran with it and the secular establishment was only too happy to weaponize the headline into a stick to beat the government with.
You might remember that recently an ‘auspicious’ number of economists wrote an open letter attacking the government over these supposed figures. These were supposed to be scholars, people with research credentials, people who have been trained to read beyond the headlines and cross-check facts. Could they not have caught these obvious mistakes in the ‘leaked NSSO data’ with five to ten minutes of effort? But they didn’t. They jumped on the propaganda bandwagon. No surprise that most of these ’eminent economists’ were members of the left-liberal complex, some had signed up with their entire families and academic descendants and some were even associated with the Congress campaign.
This is a betrayal of the trust of the Indian people in media and intelligentsia on a scale never seen before.
Propaganda newspapers, propaganda news channels and propagandist intellectuals created a storm of outrage around a piece of ‘unemployment data’ that was obviously wrong.
There is only one question left to ask. How did NSSO make such massive and glaring mistakes? Surjit Bhalla attributes this to a bizarre change in sampling and survey methods. Very well, that’s one possibility. But considering the scale on which the ‘leaked data’ was publicized and used as a propaganda weapon, we common people have to consider other possibilities. Was their deliberate malpractice involved? Did deep assets in the bureaucracy try to help a certain political party by rigging the data or the methods of data collection? We don’t know. But we do have a right to ask.