Former EWU professor sees U.S. as Third World country in new book
Merriam-Webster defines the Third World as the aggregate of the underdeveloped nations of the world.
With clean running water, daily access to technology and coffee stands in abundant supply it is nearly impossible to compare the United States to the Third World by this definition alone.
One who would liken the U.S. to a Third World country is Dr. Keith Quincy, a former professor from Eastern Washington University, who has released a book arguing against the recent idea that America's economy is on the upswing.
"Americans don't know how poorly they're paid," Quincy said during a phone interview, "because their government is doing such a poor job."
Quincy argues that due to the lack of adjustment in wages with inflation Americans are living off of 1970's era earnings and America is showing an economic growth rate comparable to nations such as Haiti and Zimbabwe.
Quincy spent between three and four years researching and recalculating figures for his book "Worse Than You Think: The Real Economy Hidden Beneath Washington's Rigged Statistics and Where We Go From Here."
The need for recalculations was spurred when Quincy noticed an asterisk next to a few years worth of data for America's gross domestic product.
These years had a footnote that explained the formula was changed, which prompted Quincy to investigate further.
Quincy found a website, which later aided him in his research, American Business Analytics and Research that explained the concept of shadow government statistics- ultimately a change in the formula used to account for gross domestic product.
This formula change has, from Quincy's research, led to numbers more positive than reality.
Quincy argues these formulas are to "make your administration look as if it's succeeding."
He also acknowledged these formulas were not changed before the Reagan administration, which became a prime place to begin his research.
Working with assistance from American Business Analytics and Research, Quincy began going over the numbers from past decades.
Quincy examined numbers under four administrations: Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
The exaggerated comparison of the United States to a Third World nation is a harsh contrast to the Unemployment Situation Report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that estimates the current rate below 7 percent, while Quincy calculates that number nearer to 23 percent.
Quincy found differentials in the national deficit from the Financial Report of the United States Government, especially for the years 2005 and 2008.
The official reported deficit in 2005 was $318 billion, Quincy's recalculations are closer to $760 billion; 2008 was worse, a reported $450 billion recalculated was closer to $1.1 trillion.
He believes these numbers are reflective of a government more concerned with overseas influence than domestic manufacturing.
Quincy believes tariffs on imported goods and bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. could create a turning point and revitalize the American economy.
Quincy felt "constantly depressed" over the years compiling his research and feels Americans have a "government with a lack of interest in main street and too concerned with financial gain."
Even though his numbers and research seemed bleak, Quincy wanted to highlight in his book options for turning the economy around.
"We knew how to do this once," said Quincy. "We can get back on track."
Kelsey Lavelle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.