Obama: 1, Informed Public: 0

"The Statistical Abstract of the United States, published since 1878, is the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States." That is how the Abstract describes itself. Click on this New York Post infographic to get a feel some of the data in the Abstract. I first encountered the Abstract in 1979 while killing time in the college library. I was blown away. I had no idea such a thing existed: an entire book, a thick one, full of nothing but tables of data - relevant data. Instead of a little snippet or partial fact, the Abstract provided the whole context. You could find, for example, what the federal government actually spent, over history and in each category, in current dollars, inflation-adjusted dollars and as fractions of Gross Domestic Product. Your knowledge of the world no longer had to rely on what 20 seconds CBS decided to quote from Senator X. Ben Wattenberg explained one of his books this...(Read Full Article)

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