Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Good Riddance

It's been over 90 days since we first received our American Community Survey in the mail. All my research indicates that the Census Bureau will leave us alone now.

We were spared phone harassment and only had one personal visit. I also had several visits to this blog by person(s) at the Census Bureau. However, compared to the experiences of others (just skim the comments of that post), I'd say we got off pretty easily.

The ACS is an enormous waste of money and time. Worse than that, it represents yet another concerted effort on the part of the federal government to pry unnecessarily into the personal lives of private law-abiding citizens, ostensibly for our own good. They have tried to make participation "mandatory" but have lacked the resources--and I think good legal standing--to back up those words with action. They are counting on us to provide this information without thinking, because the vast majority of us have been convinced that the state knows what's best for us.

I will continue to call for everyone in receipt of this survey to refuse participation. I will continue to urge my representatives to ditch the ACS and restore the scope of the Census Bureau to its original purpose, that of counting our population every 10 years specifically for the purpose of determining representation in the House of Representatives.


Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Jenn, if the blog's comment section you linked to is any indication, you are one of the lucky ones.

And the numbers there--85 posts--are probably a drop in the bucket as well.

I wonder if a class action suit could be brought on behalf of all of the victims of harrassment? It is harassment, even if they come back only once or call only once after being told not to do so.

Finally, have you contacted your federal employees--i.e. your representative and senators? If so, have you received a response?

It does not make sense that the US Census Bureau would need any of the information in order to decide how many schools or roads or hospitals to build. Private developers and engineering firms have formulas for that based on housing start numbers.

I have not seen the survey, though I am guessing that we will get it sooner or later. Unless, as you said below, the pols get distracted while fighting for office, trading favors, or spending exhorbitant amount of money on hookers.

cathy said...

The questionaire is available on the CB website. It is the intent of the CB to have this survey arrive at every residence once every 5 years. Some people have already received a second survey, since. So, Jenn, if you don't move you'll get harassed again, unless congress cuts funding. There is a group of lawyers representing home schoolers, who are following the ACS because of the home schooling questions.
The thing to understand, is that the CB has thought of everything. The refusal specialist (who comes to find out why someone refuses), the Rapid response Team (which convinces the media not to publish unflattering articles. It doesn't take much to convince a member of congress that the ACS will provide info on his/her district, inorder to pander better. The ACS is being used as a front for social and behavorial scientist to study american society and not for the community planning reasons. The ACS is also a screening tool for the data junkies to send other voluntary surveys. In addition, the 2010 census will arrive in 2 years. This census may contain the health insurance and marital history questions. I will be answering only the enumeration question on the 2010.

Anonymous said...

Yay! It's over--at least for now! So glad you held your ground. We haven't had anything since the month of phone calls. Am sure it will pick up again as Cathy mentioned, but my stance won't change.
Hope your feeling well and that the pregancy is going well.

Rational Jenn said...

Elisheva, there are several other blogs with similar formats, comment sections, etc. as well. I certainly am glad to see so many refusing this. I wrote my congressman early on, but haven't got a response, now that I think about it. I'll be writing them all again soon.

Cathy, I hadn't heard about the every 5 year thing, but I can't say I'm surprised. The CB needs to justify its existence outside of census years and the rest of the government clearly doesn't hold privacy and individual rights in esteem the way it used to. I expect each edition of the survey and the official census to have more and more intrusive questions (my bet is next they'll ask more about health insurance), and I fully expect them to add a jail sentence as a consequence of not participating.

Jen--I'm glad you haven't been harassed any further and hope that it stays that way! Be sure to let me know when your 90 days is up (and when your baby gets here!). My pregnancy is going well and I hope you are doing well, too.

Anonymous said...

Hi R.J.,
I've been reading posts all night about this horrible census. I wasn't even aware of its existence until I started reading Ron Paul's position papers. He is the only politico I've encountered who's willing to take a stand on this. I'm PhD and a teacher. I'm not a nut either. Or a conspiracy theorist. Alex Jones has made some very disturbing films that might put the true purpose of this inquisition into perspective. I was a Green liberal until I found out how I was being used by the political/power elite. My wife more to the left than I was until I made her aware of "the big picture." Very scary! At least now I know who my real enemies are. And they're not John Galt.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure we're done with our 90 days! Yay! Sure it will start back up at some point, but for now I'm glad it's over.
I'd rather sit around waiting for baby girl than the census bureau any day...June is right around the corner!

When are you due?

Rational Jenn said...

Hi Jen! I'm glad you made it through, too! It's because of the Census Bureau that I had to explain to my son not to open the door to strangers. Ironic, huh?

My baby boy is coming on June 20 (c-section) unless he decides to come earlier than that. When is your baby girl coming? Be sure to let me know when she arrives, and good luck!

Anonymous said...

SO exciting! I'm due the 22nd, but they may take her a few weeks early--low fluid. Good luck!!

Rational Jenn said...

Jen--good luck with your baby girl! I've forgotten, do you have other kids?