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Question Census - Is this it?
Old 03-16-2010, 07:42 PM   #1
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Question Census - Is this it?

Is the form we received yesterday the only census form we need to fill out or will more forms be sent later? After all the hoopla about it, I was a bit underwhelmed. Just 10 questions asking for name, age, race, and if I owned or rented. I thought the census tracked more than that?
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Old 03-16-2010, 08:07 PM   #2
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The long form asks a lot more questions.

Yeah, it truly is no big deal. Some people just like to complain.
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Old 03-16-2010, 08:38 PM   #3
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The long form asks a lot more questions.
No long form this time around, everybody gets the same 10 questions. I don't know if the long form will be coming back because the G does some kind of continuous surveying now to ask those questions.
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Old 03-16-2010, 08:42 PM   #4
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No long form this time around, everybody gets the same 10 questions. I don't know if the long form will be coming back because the G does some kind of continuous surveying now to ask those questions.
This time I made a copy of our responses to hand to the survey guy who rings our doorbell to insist that we haven't returned our responses...
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:02 PM   #5
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In this age of id theft, it seems odd to give out your name, birthdate, address, phone number and ownership of property.
If we were still in the go-go loan to anyone period, I would think that with the aforementioned info, one could scam out some money from citizens.
I sure hope that the confidentiality that was promised is indeed honored.
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:28 PM   #6
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In this age of id theft, it seems odd to give out your name, birthdate, address, phone number and ownership of property.
If we were still in the go-go loan to anyone period, I would think that with the aforementioned info, one could scam out some money from citizens.
I sure hope that the confidentiality that was promised is indeed honored.
The name, address, and phone number for many residents is available in the phone book. Ownership of property is public information, at least here.

I don't know about birthdate, though.
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:20 PM   #7
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Not to worry. Just because there is little worthwhile to be learned from the information we provide on the 10 question form, it doesn't mean we're not spending a lot for the gov't to do this!
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:33 PM   #8
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I agree. We are spending a lot for the government to do it. We also spent a lot to get the notice in the mail a couple of weeks ago ...to remind us that the Census was coming in the mail soon. Double mailings. I too was underwhelmed and flipped the things a couple of times to make sure there were no more questions.
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Old 03-17-2010, 06:17 AM   #9
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In this age of id theft, it seems odd to give out your name, birthdate, address, phone number and ownership of property.
I also hesitate on the DOB question. I may end up lying about that one.

If they find out about it I think the worst they can do is revoke my birthday.
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Old 03-17-2010, 07:41 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Red Rover View Post
Is the form we received yesterday the only census form we need to fill out or will more forms be sent later? After all the hoopla about it, I was a bit underwhelmed. Just 10 questions asking for name, age, race, and if I owned or rented. I thought the census tracked more than that?
They randomly select households to track in depth. I was one of those last year. A guy came to my house every quarter and went through a whole checklist of questions for the previous week including how many hours each household resident had worked, whether we were seeking work, etc. It was interesting but slightly burdensome to have to make myself available to this guy. I suspect they run into serious problems getting access to some of the households that randomly pop up. I would not want to be one of the interviewers.
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:31 AM   #11
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I agree. We are spending a lot for the government to do it. We also spent a lot to get the notice in the mail a couple of weeks ago ...to remind us that the Census was coming in the mail soon. Double mailings. ...
Make that a triple mailing (to date). I got a postcard yesterday, with the single line (in 6 languages, none of which appear to be German or Polish, which I thought was odd) "For help completing your 2010 Census form, call toll free 1-866-872-6868".

Of course, this same info, in just two languages though, is on the very form we are supposed to fill out. Not sure what this extra mailing is supposed to do, or why the extra languages (if needed) were not included with the form.

Since I'll be waiting until after April 1st, in order to provide the best accuracy that they say is so important ( ), I'll probably get a reminder mailing too.

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Old 03-17-2010, 11:40 AM   #12
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Oh and let's not forget the TV ads. Wonder what they spent on those.
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Old 03-17-2010, 12:09 PM   #13
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Remember that those expenses are in lieu of sending people out to knock on every door, which has been the practice in the past.

Take a look at an old census online, you can see the hand script of the interviewer listing everyone in the household, their relationship to the head of the household, their ages, occupations. Often they ask where they were born and where their parents were born. A great read for those of us who enjoy genealogy.
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Old 03-17-2010, 12:13 PM   #14
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Since I'll be waiting until after April 1st, in order to provide the best accuracy that they say is so important ( ), I'll probably get a reminder mailing too.
My guess is that you will get a knock on your door. From the letter included with the Census form (bolded font theirs, not my idea),
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Please complete and mail back the enclosed census form today.
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Old 03-17-2010, 01:00 PM   #15
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I was the lucky recipient of an OFFICIAL 2010 US CENSUS form wrapped around the door handle at my mountain cabin- They had to unlatch a turnbolt and use the conventional door knob on the screen door to get to the front door- their skill ineptitude tenacity at tying an oversize 10-mil military-spec plastic bag with the form stuffed inside around the door handle prevented the screen door from closing automatically so the idiots just left it unsecured- -the door was pretty well destroyed by the wind- which is why I added the turnbolt in the first place.

dey dun made me mad, so I ain' tellin' 'em nuttin'...

(no one lives there full-time anyway...)
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Old 03-17-2010, 01:41 PM   #16
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My guess is that you will get a knock on your door. From the letter included with the Census form (bolded font theirs, not my idea),
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Please complete and mail back the enclosed census form today.
That's fine. Then I'll simply explain that they shouldn't ask for accurate information for a future date (April 1, 2010), threaten people with a fine for inaccurate information, and then expect an answer prior to that date. If I had your crystal ball, that would make a great 'prop' for my speech.

I am going to have a printout of the section so and so, where they call out the $5,000 fine, and ask if they are authorized to waive the fine for me. Then I'll go into a long explanation of all the harm that has been done by people signing mortgages that they didn't understand, and so on and so on, and I'm not going to sign anything I don't understand.....

The only wrinkle in this is that the census worker is likely to be someone we know from the neighborhood, she came around way back when to deliver a notice that there would be a census coming in the mail (I don't think that one said to watch for the notice coming in the mail that was going to tell us the form was coming in the mail) - so I'll have to explain that I'm not crazy (or not any crazier than they may think I already am), I'm just trying to make a point. That may (or may not) take some of the fun out of it .

I guess I'll ask if they get paid by the hour to try to get me to fill in the form, if so we can sit down and discuss it over a beer or three.

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Old 03-17-2010, 02:27 PM   #17
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Okay, I'll readily agree that the money wasted on "here comes your census" letters is incredibly stupid. And, typical of government forms, it is worded clumsily. Not to mention I would be asking the Post Office about fixing the door they ruined at the cabin. But all that aside, am I just not in touch with my inner curmudgeon today, or are you guys turning a mole hill into a mountain?
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Old 03-17-2010, 03:10 PM   #18
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Okay, I'll readily agree that the money wasted on "here comes your census" letters is incredibly stupid. And, typical of government forms, it is worded clumsily. Not to mention I would be asking the Post Office about fixing the door they ruined at the cabin. But all that aside, am I just not in touch with my inner curmudgeon today, or are you guys turning a mole hill into a mountain?
Absolutely (and I'm addressing myself here, not pointing at others). And I'd ask them to fix the door too.

But it really is the larger picture that I am railing at, not simply the act of filling out one form every ten years. And if no one complains, no can expect anything to improve. And no, I'm not naive enough to think that my little actions will change anything, but I feel I am being a hypocrite if I don't at least try.

As I said earlier, the govt keeps getting more and more involved in our lives, and I don't like most of it. The least I should be able to expect is that they do the stuff they do with some minimal level of competency. And to me, that form (and our tax regulations), are symbolic of that incompetency. And I plan to fight it, if only symbolically.

Another way to put this is, yes it *is* a molehill, but to me, it represents the mountain.

In the other thread, you mentioned that they had asked that added (to me contradictory, or at least extraneous/confusing) question since 1890. I certainly don't think that you would say that makes it right, or that it shouldn't be improved, simply based on time? Far too many examples of things that have changed for the better since then. Probably one molehill at a time, in most cases.


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Old 03-17-2010, 03:33 PM   #19
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I'll add this - I think one thing that is really adding to the "get's my goat" reaction is that it is the govt that is telling us how serious and important this is. All the ads, the mailings, the personal visits, the claims that they need it to be accurate, etc (spending our money to do it).

And yet, it does not look like they took it seriously. If they did, they would have clearly worded, non-ambiguous questions. They've had 10 years, it wasn't a rush job.

So maybe if they didn't make a mountain out of it, I wouldn't be looking at it like this, and just fill out the stupid form and that is that.

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Old 03-17-2010, 05:03 PM   #20
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The problems for the Census Bureau is that race has become a complex issue. They are asked to provide aggregate data for a lot of organizations that measure the performance of our economy, for example, to a whole variety of stakeholders. What they ended up with was done by a committee and looks like it.

Let me give you an example: Federal Contractors must develop affirmative action plans that estimate the availability of women, Asians, Blacks, Native Americans, Whites and Hispanics of all races for employment. It used to be very straightforward but today so many people are mixed race and the question arises.. who is counted for what. The regulations have been amended to reflect a much more complicated matrix... and employers now have to ask employees where they fit in that matrix. [Now you know why I retired!]

One of the goals of the census has always been to evaluate how this nation is doing, where are the people, and evaluate the long term resources needed. This data is meshed with that obtained from the Department of Labor, for example, to assist states and municipalities in infracture planning. The census tells school districts where young families are living and helps predict the need for classrooms. Many corporations use that data in planning facilities, even shopping malls.

Hey, I remember when the census asked whether or not you had indoor plumbing!! Get a life folks.
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