November 2011

Compared to the U.S. Senate’s recent refusal to approve a mere $60 billion in new infrastructure spending when we really need to spend an estimated $2 trillion just to make up for all the years of neglect of our country’s roads and bridges, the recent report in the New York Times that the U.S. Agriculture Department will stop collecting and reporting data on a wide range of agricultural commodities, including catfish, sheep, goats, hops, honey, and mink,  is no big deal.  But it is just one more bit of evidence that the U.S. is on its way to becoming a third-world country. Compared to the revelation that the U.S. now ranks 25th in the world in Internet connection speed, behind both Greece and Romania, the future lack of production data from the country’s 389 catfish farms and 265 mink farms is hardly a calamity. All joking aside, however, one of the many things that distinguish developed countries from less developed ones is the extent and reliability of the economic and business information they provide. [click to continue…]