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Just received a weird survey -what do you think???
Old 03-02-2012, 01:40 PM   #1
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Just received a weird survey -what do you think???

I just received a strange survey in the mail........the "American Community Survey"

Fisrt question - my name (so NOT anonymous), age and birth date
Same question for every one living in the house

Then it gets weird:
Value of house, mortgage payment, cost of taxes, cost of insurance, type and cost of fuel used to heat and cool the home, etc...
Education level, majors in college, adcanced degess received and when.....
Income (in detail)- salary, dividends and intrest, self-employed income, employers name and address, how long you have worked for the employer, job duties.....
Number of miles you commute, how many minutes it takes to commute, when do you leave home to go to work, type of vehicle you commute in....
If married, how many times, date of last marriage...

This is just a sample. The survey is 27 pages long! and they want all the above information (and significantly more) for every person living in your residence.

First thought - this is a scam. NO WAY I'm providing this information to ANYone.

But no, it really is the "American Community Survey" from the Census Bureau.

According to the information included and the web site, failure to accurately fill out and reurn the form is punishable by fines and jail time.

Fines: $100 for every blank not filled out, $500 for intentionally incorect information. Maximum fine of $5000.

All of this - to me - falls so squarely into the "None of your (fill in the blank) business, that there is NO WAY I fill it out and sent to the Feds.

I wonder if filling out "None of your Business" in each form would be considered inaccurate?

Guess I'd better budget for a $5000 fine and jail time.
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:46 PM   #2
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Gee - mine must have gotten lost in the mail ....
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:46 PM   #3
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Use of a lot of "don't know", "varies" and "not applicable"

Canada did away with the census "long form", although I don't think it was every quite that detailed.
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:54 PM   #4
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AFAIK, the US Constitution provides only for a Census survey of the number of people in order to properly allocate Representatives. Any other Census data collection is not supported by the Constitution.
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:03 PM   #5
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This, along with other Census Bureau surveys, are used to distribute much of the money that is transferred to local communities. Answering incorrectly or not responding might result in your community receiving less.
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:10 PM   #6
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It is a real detailed survey by the US census bureau. American Community Survey

To determine if you’ve got a real survey, call the Census at 800-354-7271. Have the code number from the form handy so you can verify its authenticity.
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:12 PM   #7
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This, along with other Census Bureau surveys, are used to distribute much of the money that is transferred to local communities.
So you are saying they are bypassing our local elected federal representatives in this matter?
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:12 PM   #8
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My mom got one of those last year and I had to have her give me enough information on it so I could confirm it was legit.
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:38 PM   #9
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Oh yes, it's legit.

Called the number you mentioned and was told in no uncertain terms that is was legit and MY DUTY to fill it out accuractely or there would be serious penalties (evidently, I'm not the first person to called - the "SERIOUS PENALTIES" statment was part of the canned schpeal.

Short conversation - no need to discuss it or question it with them.

Sort of amazing.... this morning, I was sitting at home a lifetime law-abiding citizen, and now the Feds are threatening me with fines and felony charges if I don't tell them every intimate aspect of my life....
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:41 PM   #10
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Like the US, the UK uses census data to allocate money and determine numbers and locations of elected officials.

While we were in the UK last year for 7 months renting a house, we got to fill in a long census form. This was also the last census that the UK will have. The current government has cut out future census taking to save 10's of millions of $. They argue that in this day and age they have access to plenty of other sources to construct census data, so it is a waste of money using an archaic method of data collection.

They also announced the results of an independant group that had been set up to streamline electoral boundaries, re-drawing them into a quite tight geographic grouping of ~60k persons per parliament seat, resulting in a reduction of 55 MP's, down from about 650 today.
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EllisWyatt View Post
Oh yes, it's legit.

Called the number you mentioned and was told in no uncertain terms that is was legit and MY DUTY to fill it out accuractely or there would be serious penalties (evidently, I'm not the first person to called - the "SERIOUS PENALTIES" statment was part of the canned schpeal.

Short conversation - no need to discuss it or question it with them.

Sort of amazing.... this morning, I was sitting at home a lifetime law-abiding citizen, and now the Feds are threatening me with fines and felony charges if I don't tell them every intimate aspect of my life....
Just did a lookup on the survey on Wikipedia - the Bible of official or not

American Community Survey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If I had received it, I would have thought is was a scam too.

You should have repsonded back in bold letters, "check my Facebook for all the info...so there George Orwell!"
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:25 PM   #12
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I'd plead abject poverty, in all areas. Maybe that would maximize the redistribution of wealth to the local politicians.
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:33 PM   #13
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I was selected for the in depth deal a few years ago. A Census worker came by the house several times during the year to go over a detailed set of questions. I had no problem cooperating since I understood what they were doing. The Census worker said a fair number of people reacted very negatively and that it was a downright dangerous job in some locales.
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:10 PM   #14
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I understand what it is for, I just have a problem with being required by law to report when i get up in the morning to go to work, what my finances are and various and sundry private and personal details - especially under threat of imprsionment.

And I will be polite to the census worker if they come to the door - they're just doing thier job and following orders. (wait a minute - I don't think that was accepted as a defense.....never mind)
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:14 PM   #15
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For me this would fall into the category of "things I can't do anything about even if they're annoying and not fair" and I would just complete it and mail it in. Done--not worth your time to fret about it.

Now give us all your passwords so we can be sure you reported everything accurately .
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:20 PM   #16
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I think the Census Bureau makes a big mistake by sending out such daunting questionnaires. Better to sample more people with shorter forms and get a higher response rate.

Along that line I got a political survey call on my cell phone the other day. I hung up on it.
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:22 PM   #17
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Bestwifeever : LOL!!!

That is probably the most perceptive and, correct assessment of the situation I've read.

Although it obviously torks me, I'll probably cave in and comply - probably didn't help that it arrived while I was working on this year's taxes, which will be painful.


Thanks for the reality check
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:07 PM   #18
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I just looked at the form online:
http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Downlo...12/Quest12.pdf

It appears to be pretty much identical to the old "long form" census form, and I don't see anything I would have a problem with.

OTOH, it is only offered in English and Spanish, so I might be tempted to ignore it and have some fun with the Census worker who came to follow up. Here in the Midwest, there really aren't that many fluent speakers other languages, and my Brazilian Portuguese has come to my rescue more than once.

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Old 03-02-2012, 06:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EllisWyatt View Post
Sort of amazing.... this morning, I was sitting at home a lifetime law-abiding citizen, and now the Feds are threatening me with fines and felony charges if I don't tell them every intimate aspect of my life....
Don't make any sudden moves, you slacker! They have men with long guns and dogs that will bite you just outside of your back door...
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:33 PM   #20
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As long as they bring in the infamous "black Helicopters" I think I'll be alright.
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