I joined a large number of economists signing an open letter supporting funding for economic data. The letter is here, twitter #SaveTheData, Financial Times story here, press release here.
Few public goods are as cheap or important as good economic data. Much of our national policy discussion is based on government-collected data. Changes in inequality, wage growth or stagnation, employment and unemployment, growth, inflation... none of these are readily visible walking down the street.
Free, openly accessible, well-documented data, allowing comparisons over long periods of time, such as provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is especially valuable.
Already, much of the data we get is based on decades-old measurement concepts. Perhaps someday internet big data will bring us alternatives. But that day is a long way away. Let's not fly blind in the meantime.