The fiscal conservative case for statistics

Lamenting for cuts at Statistics Canada, Vass Bednar and Mark Stabile suggest a fiscal conservative case for evidence-based policy.

These reductions have been masked under the compelling veil of “efficiency.” In reality, the cuts promise considerable future costs because they compromise the tools used to understand the state. This, in turn, has a high probability of leading to decisions that are no longer based on evidence, and therefore are likely to be ineffective uses of public money … Evidence-based policy-making requires just that — evidence — standard, reliable metrics whose quantification and legitimacy is widely agreed upon. In their absence, policy-making at all levels and in every sector will be as expensive as it is hopeful, while policy actors are forced to gingerly “guess and check” over time.