Ireland's Central Statistics Office told the world this week that the country's economy grew 26 percent in 2015.
Such "data" can be totally bogus, and in this case they are. A lot of people focus on numbers and push them around in press releases, government documents, research reports, trade agreements, news stories and on and on. But when the underlying method for getting these numbers is bogus, then you have a real problem.
Data are just like computers — garbage in, garbage out. It's about humans and their definitions for what goes where.
In the case of Ireland, let's review a few basic questions:
Did the country produce 26 percent more goods? No.
Did the citizens enjoy 26 percent higher incomes? No.
Was the country 26 percent more productive? No.