Online Headlines: A Future Without Key Social and Economic Statistics for the Country

Since the U.S. House voted to kill both the American Community Survey and the Economic Survey, the response continues to build.  Meanwhile, the Senate is reportedly unlikely to agree with the de-funding of the ACS, and the White House has indicated a willingness to veto.

A Future Without Key Social and Economic Statistics for the Country (Director’s Blog, 5/11)
by Robert Groves, Director of the U.S. Census Bureau

In the last three years the Census Bureau has reacted to budget and technological challenges by mounting aggressive operational efficiency programs to make these key statistical cornerstones of the country more cost efficient. Eliminating them halts all the progress to build 21st century statistical tools through those innovations. This bill thus devastates the nation’s statistical information about the status of the economy and the larger society.

Killing the American Community Survey Blinds Business (Bloomberg Businessweek, 5/10)
by Matthew Phillips

The ACS—which has a long bipartisan history, including its funding in the mid-1990s and full implementation in 2005—provides data that help determine how more than $400 billion in federal and state funds are spent annually. Businesses also rely heavily on it to do such things as decide where to build new stores, hire new employees, and get valuable insights on consumer spending habits. Check out this video of Target (TGT) executives talking about how much they use ACS data.

Operating in the Dark (New York Times, 5/13)

This is know-nothingness at a new level. The American Community Survey, which gives annual updates of Americans’ economic, demographic and housing characteristics, is widely considered a vital tool for business decision makers. It is also a bipartisan creation. First used in 2005, it is a more timely and accurate way to ask questions that used to be posed on the “long form” decennial census. Indeed, in 2006, Republican Congressional staff members participated in efforts to promote the survey under the slogan “Better Data for Better Decisions.”

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