The withheld MEGA information is critical. Without this data, it becomes increasingly difficult to determine whether MEGA actually stimulates economic growth and represents a worthwhile investment of state resources.
Such a lack of transparency cannot benefit the public; it can benefit only those who profit directly from the existence of the program, beginning with MEDC officials themselves. In this sense, MEGA's loss of transparency becomes an inversion of the principle that government exists to serve the people, not the other way around. As James Madison put it:
"A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."
State policymakers serious about serving the public will need to address MEGA's growing lack of transparency — or consider ending the program altogether.