Flawed Federal Land Use Report
Encourages Unnecessary Spending
by Wendell Cox and Ronald D. Utt

The recent discovery of serious flaws in a U.S. Department of Agriculture land use survey, which compiled data by sampling national land use trends, illustrates why extreme care must be exercised by the federal government in processing, compiling, and reporting the data it derives from the decennial census now underway. Because the 2000 census utilizes both enumeration and sampling techniques, it is essential that both the process and the results obtained are screened to ensure that the type of errors plaguing the USDA's National Resources Inventory are not replicated in the 2000 census. As the immediate response to the NRI's release shows, the skewed results of error-plagued surveys can induce government to react with costly programs and regulations that address problems which may not, in fact, exist.

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(c) 2000 --- Wendell Cox Consultancy --- Permission granted to use with attribution.
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