By almost any measure, the American economy entered 2009 in need of a rebuild. One area that sorely stands out among those in need of overhaul that hasn't gotten much attention: the nation's economic statistics. It's understandable that data collection and analysis becomes an afterthought in times of crisis. But policy makers and business leaders need good numbers to ensure good outcomes and to make sure down cycles don't become worst cycles. So eliminating the guessing and complaining about the jobs numbers, the CPI and the PPI, the construction numbers, and all of the other data would go a long way to getting to the right solutions for the problems the economy faces. You can't plan well with bum numbers. GIGO - Garbage In Garbage Out - still applies.

Right now government data gathering, analysis, and deployment is scattered among various cabinet departments and agencies, and is often hamstrung by constituent-group biases and political agendas.

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