The automatic, across-the-board sequestration budget cuts are impacting the country’s 14 economic statistics agencies, forcing them to eliminate or delay reports on topics such as income, energy use, and global labor costs, reports Bloomberg News.This is great news!
For example, the Department of Agriculture eliminated census reports on commodities such as flowers, hops, catfish, rice, and the mink population, which cost $8.4 million to compile.
But sadly it doesn't go anywhere near far enough.
All government data collection should be completely abolished! It's none of the government's business as to how many catfish exist or what the mink population is.
Government data collection gives an impression that the state is the overseer of the economy, and it provides an opening for central planners to meddle with the marketplace. Opportunities abound for the Paul Krugman's of the world to put together "models," and to prescribe "policies" based on them.
The marketplace needs to be freed from these meddlers.
If companies or entrepreneurs desire economic data, let them pay for it (with their own money) in the market. Let private companies gather up the data, and have their reputation hang on its accuracy. Government worries not about its reputation. It lies constantly.
If the private market were in charge, only the most urgently desired data would be collected, and it would be collected voluntarily. No one would be forced to provide what they don't wish to share. Right now, government wastes unbelievable sums to collect ridiculous minutia, and does so with the use of force.
Government data collection should be cut and slashed all the way to zero.
The sooner, the better.
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