Deming used to say, “There is no true value of anything measured or observed.” In fact, that is an integral part of his System of Profound Knowledge, which he formed as the basis of competitive and effective management. There is no true value, for example, for the number of homeless people in the United States. Many have claimed that
I have been involved in the Veterans Administration healthcare system for several years now. During that time I can’t count the number of changes to the system. Each one promises to get things working and to date, I can’t see where any has had much effect at all.
The table below shows clearly that as industrialization waned, household credit increased. My explanation is that this is what Deming predicted. As wealth creation stopped, U. S. citizens, used to ever-increasing standard of living, turned to credit to finance their lifestyle choices.
Note that increases in life expectancy increase rapidly and then level out. (Click on image to enlarge). This indicates that in the developing world there is a strong relationship between growth in income and life expectancy, but once a certain level is reached (around 70 years), the curve flattens out and further increases in income don’t seem to lead to greater life expectancy.