Quick Hits 03-10-11 – The Data Edition

I love data.  I cannot get enough numbers – even if they’re not even all that useful.  It’s just in my nature.  Two recent articles brilliantly explain a couple of facets about how we tend to use, or manipulate “facts.”

1. When in doubt, ask for more data

The Strong Towns folks point out in a recent post that asking for more data is an excellent stall tactic for folks who may be opposed to a particular measure. 

There will never be enough proof to convince people who don’t want to change that they should.

2. Once we have more data, then what?

And, as Newsweek reports, now that we can obtain virtually limitless data at our fingertips, we do not know how to process it all, anyway. 

Why Employee Pensions are not bankrupting states

McClatchy reports that even after the economic bubble bursts of 2008 (the real cause of the pension un-crisis), state pensions could continue to pay benefits for another 13 years if absoutely nothing happened – no growth, no additional payments in, no cuts in benefits.

Public Sector Compensation, Part – Whatever

For those who prefer visual aids to numbers, The New York Times put in graphical format most of the same items that we have been discussing in the Public Sector Compensation series. 

Do Employee of the Month Programs do more harm than good?

This one only tangentially relates to number crunching, but it is an interesting piece, nonetheless.