Tuesday, June 30, 2009

That 2010 Census...

I've been hearing alot about the Census, and specifically their 10-question long form. Supposedly the shortest form they've ever done. must be all those budget cuts.

Oh, you know me, anti-government and all. I am hoping for someone to simple forget where I live. Fat chance of that, thanks to that idiot GPS tagging. Still, I can hope to slip through the cracks. The government does that sort of thing all the time. And there are some pretty good sized cracks here in the bone-dry MS clay.

What is the Census? According to the government themselves --

  • The census is a count of everyone living in the United States every 10 years.
  • The census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution.
  • The next census is in 2010.
  • Your participation in the census is required by law.
  • It takes less than 10 minutes to complete.
  • Federal law protects the personal information you share during the census.
  • Census data are used to distribute Congressional seats to states, to make decisions about what community services to provide, and to distribute $300 billion in federal funds to local, state and tribal governments each year.

I just don't care much for any of that, really. We don't need more Congressional seats...there are enough folks already there. There is no Federal money to hand out to local and state governments...we're sinking under unpaid bills and stupid financial decisions. Unless I missed the CNN headline about the Fed deciding to start printing lots of new money to spread around, there just isn't any to be allocated, so my private information isn't needed by anyone but me. And Federal Law protecting your private information....don't even get me started.

You are required by Law to answer the questions, according to our Constitution...

Title 13, Section 221 (Census, Refusal or neglect to answer questions; false answers) of the United States Code reads:

  • (a) Whoever, being over eighteen years of age, refuses or willfully neglects, when requested by the Secretary, or by any other authorized officer or employee of the Department of Commerce or bureau or agency thereof acting under the instructions of the Secretary or authorized officer, to answer, to the best of his knowledge, any of the questions on any schedule submitted to him in connection with any census or survey provided for by subchapters I, II, IV, and V of chapter of this title, applying to himself or to the family to which he belongs or is related, or to the farm or farms of which he or his family is the occupant, shall be fined not more than $100.
  • (b) Whoever, when answering questions described in subsection (a) of this section, and under the conditions or circumstances described in such subsection, willfully gives any answer that is false, shall be fined not more than $500.
  • (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, no person shall be compelled to disclose information relative to his religious beliefs or to membership in a religious body.

(U.S. citizens living outside the United States are not required to respond to the census.)

In other words, you can be fined up to $100 for not answering and up to $500 for lying on the census form. I did hear something about that fine amount being raised, but can't find anything to confirm that. Makes sense though -- invasive questions that most sane folks will try to refuse to answer, big fines for doing so...maybe that's the plan for lifting us from the financial depression.

I'm just a rebel. A paranoid troublemaker. I don't do alot of things that are required for me to do. It's just how I am. I don't know much (ha ha...a given, I know...) but I try to gather as much information from both sides of something that I can before I make a decision. My choices don't have to be popular...they just have to be right for my family at the time given the knowledge I have at my disposal and the brains granted me by God.

The U.S. Census Bureau today opened one of three data capture centers that will process the 2010 Census questionnaires as they are mailed back by households across the nation. The 236,500-square-foot facility will bring more than 2,500 jobs to Baltimore County, Md.

“Processing the 2010 Census questionnaires accurately and safely at the data capture centers is a crucial step to a successful census,” said Census Bureau Acting Director Tom Mesenbourg. “The data from each form processed at the facility will help provide a complete count of the nation's population and a new portrait of America.”

The Baltimore Data Capture Center is expected to process about 40 percent of the census forms mailed back by respondents. The remaining forms will be sent to the Census Bureau’s National Processing Center in Jeffersonville, Ind., and the data capture center in Phoenix, which is set to open in November. The 2010 Census forms will be mailed in March, and the majority of the data processing will occur between March and July.

The Baltimore Data Capture Center will be managed by Lockheed Martin. Its subcontractor partner, CSC, will manage the hiring efforts for the 2,500 new employees, most of whom will be hired starting in December of this year. Each worker will take an oath for life to keep census information confidential. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents’ answers with any other government or law enforcement agency. Any violation of that oath is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and five years in prison.

The 2010 Census is a count of everyone living in the United States and is mandated by the U.S. Constitution. Census data are used to distribute congressional seats to states and to allocate more than $300 billion in federal funds to local, state and tribal governments each year. The 2010 Census questionnaire will be one of the shortest in history, consisting of 10 questions and taking about 10 minutes to complete.

If anyone has any links to share about the upcoming Census parade, I'd love to see them. I still have some time left to glean and learn.

1 comment:

Amy said...

A month or so ago, a Census worker rang my doorbell asking one question - if we had any dwelling on our property besides our home. What the heck? All of the newer homes in our area are not allowed to build anything on their property (HOA rules) so, hmm....suspicious, no?


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