WATCH: Should Government Collect Economic Data?
The duty of the government to collect census data is actually mentioned in the United States Constitution. The Census Bureau, and other components of the Department of Commerce, now also collect trade data that can benefit US exporters. Proposed budget cuts by the Trump administration may jeopardize these activities.
But with business and individuals compiling a wealth of big data, does government need to collect economic and societal data on Americans? Diane Schanzenbach of the Brookings Institution and Michael Strain of the American Enterprise Institute argue that the federal government’s role in collecting data is essential.