“In Order That They Might Rest Their Arguments on Facts”
Because the Trump Administration has questioned the accuracy of federal statistics such as the unemployment rate and because of reports that it will propose substantial cuts to government statistical agencies, the Hamilton Project and The American Enterprise Institute have released a new report about the vital importance of data collected by the federal government.
- "In Order That They Might Rest Their Arguments on Facts": The Vital Role of Government-Collected Data (PDF, 36pp) by Nicholas Eberstadt, Ryan Nunn, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, and Michael R. Strain. The Hamilton Project and The American Enterprise Institute. (March 2017). (Announcement).
Objective, impartial data collection by federal statistical agencies is vital to informing decisions made by businesses, policy makers, and families. These measurements make it possible to have a productive discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of particular policies, and about the state of the economy. This document demonstrates a portion of the breadth and importance of government statistics to public policy and the economy.
The quotation in the title is from James Madison. The report includes chapters on business, policy, and families, a section on "How to Strengthen Public Data," and a substantial bibliography,
See also Defending the Data by Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, Ryan Nunn, and Megan Mumford. The Hamilton Project (March 1, 2017).