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Administration Shutting Down Economic Indicators Site

from the trending-downward... dept

While there was some decent news suggesting the economy might not be falling into a recession, there are still plenty of knowledgeable folks who think some sort of recession is likely. Last week, in New York, plenty of folks I spoke to seemed to believe we were already in one. Of course, to actually call a recession, the general consensus is that there would need to be two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth. So how would you measure that growth? Well, apparently the White House would prefer to make it as difficult as possible. Reader Jon writes in to note the rather inconvenient timing of the Administration suddenly deciding to shut down its own website that aggregated economic indicators. The site, EconomicIndicators.gov had even won awards from Forbes as a great resource. The timing of the closure certainly raises some questions. It's not that difficult to manage a website (though, I recognize, in the government, all costs are multiplied by some insanity multiplier). If it's really so expensive to manage, why not throw it open and make it into a wiki? Hell, perhaps Jimbo Wales or somebody can build a WikinomicIndicators site instead.

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  1. identicon
    Johan Hjelm, 19 Feb 2008 @ 6:45pm

    So, what about the Wikinomics idea?

    I thought it _is_ a great idea to put together an indicator site. Preferrably with open databases so people can do mashups (like the UN did). And from more countries than the US (data is numbers, and should be available from the statistics agencies in most countries, irrespective of the language they speak). It seems the site only lists publications of indicators, and that the indicators themselves will not go away. So it should not be too hard to create a replica, now that the governement has told us where to find the indicators. And it should be possible to include similar econometric data from other countries. With graphs and animations. Like Hans Rosling is doing with Google. http://www.google.org/inform.html. That would actually make econometrics cool. Anyone interested? Or you pepole just up to grumbling about your taxes and presidents?

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