R.I.P, Statistical Abstract of the USA

The US Statistical Abstract, published annually since 1878, is being cut from the latest federal budget. I personally think that easy, open access to a wide range of data is one of the most overlooked positive consequences of government, and arguably one of the most important service a federal government can provide, with ramifications far beyond the technical act of record keeping. This is a terrible mistake, and a real shame.

Robert Samuelson nicely mirrors my thoughts on this here and here. Also check out David Cay Johnston’s somewhat crude but still debate-worthy calculations on this issue, under the title “Budget Cuts That Raise Costs“.

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