Data is at the base of a lot of what we do here at the Center. Our recent report on Minnesota’s economy, for example, was drawn from a wide range of data, much of it produced by agencies of the US government.
But you don’t have to take out word for this stuff. Our republic is stronger when we have informed voters reaching their conclusions based on evidence rather than voting a certain way because someone with a red or blue tie tells them to. Most of the data produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Internal Revenue Service, or the Census Bureau, is free for anyone to download and investigate.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is another one of the major producers of economic data in the US. In a recent post titled Do You Understand Your Local Economy?, they explain some of the ways you can use their data to investigate your own local economic conditions. They also link to a webinar, below, on how to navigate some of this welter of data.
I can’t guarantee it will be as interesting a watch as The Da Vinci Code, but it will make you a more informed voter.
John Phelan is an economist at the Center of the American Experiment.