There is a weird facet of my personality that applauds irony in all its iterations. I was asked to speak at a local community event for "innovators and entrepreneurs" highlighting the United Nations Sustainable Goals--specifically equality. My suggestion to introduce the utility of census data and how to access, clean, and analyze for free was welcomed.
Unfortunately, in the absence of effective marketing -- the draw of census data is not exactly standing room only. Because as it turned out--they must have been all standing somewhere else. The attendees mill about drinking free beer and nibbling on heavy hors d'oeuvres and once the second round of talks begin--they are typically engaged in other conversations. Not to worry, I persist.
Back to the census data. To explore broad questions beyond GDP -- the overworked metric of gross domestic product-- it is vital and it is important to dig deeper. And better yet the insights are free once you can tackle the steep learning curve. What an opportunity to meet your potential clients, patients, or customers in the communities where they live. Identify the barriers to improved outcomes by identifying structural determinants and working for policies to ameliorate wide disparities in not only income but opportunity.
If we believe that we, as Americans, are bound together by a common concern for each other, then an urgent national priority is upon us. We must begin to end the disgrace of this other America.