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What you don't know can indeed hurt you, economically. Every five years, the government surveys businesses in what's called the Economic Census of the United States. That census should be happening right now but it's not, due to a few different reasons. Danny Vinik, the assistant editor at Politico's "The Agenda," has the story on this — and it's appropriately titled "Is Washington bungling the Census?"

"People aren't ready to say we're in a crisis quite yet," Vinik said in an interview with Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal. "But the lack of funding is really, really costing the Census Bureau right now. They're just having a lot of trouble actually funding a lot of the preparations they need."

Due to this, the Economic Census, which was supposed to start in January, has been pushed back. And that means the many people, business, and policymakers who could use that up-to-date information are going to have to wait.

To listen to the full interview, use the media player above. 

Follow Kai Ryssdal at @kairyssdal