As has been reported on this blog, Israel Kirzner wrote a short article where he distinguishes between information-knowledge and action-knowledge. The distinction between the two is that action-knowledge refers to “knowledge that actually spurs and shapes action” while information-knowledge is simply facts and figures that exist in memory. The point is that information alone has no economic value unless it takes the form of action-knowledge, thereby causing acting man to direct and redirect scarce resources to satisfy the most-pressing needs.
As reported by The Christian Science Monitor, Congress is working on a bill which will provide for a searchable internet database that details how government is spending our federal tax dollars. I’m certain that all of this data will be of interest to a lot of people, but additional heaps of data will not spur or shape any political change. The Soviet Union, another planned economy, was flooded in data yet continually wasted scarce resources chasing utopian dreams.
We already have sufficient data to know for certain that the feds are spending way too much of our tax dollars. We don’t need more data; we need someone to stand before Congress like Davey Crockett and remind our representatives that our money is not theirs to give. We need action, and its requisite action-knowledge, instead of servers full of more depressing data.