So the Censu bureau wants me to fill out a form...

I never claimed to be logical. I am Large. I contain Multitudes.

You’re a fat guy with MPD?

d & r

You got the first part right. :smiley:

*All hail the census spoiler,
In prose, in verse, in song.
He will not fill the form in,
Or else he does it wrong

His answers are eccentric,
Unhelpful and untrue.
All hail the census spoiler:
Rebel without a clue.*

Good lord, guys. It’s for all of us. It’s to our benefit, it provides useful information, and it’s going to tell people in the future a lot. It’s really assholish to lie on the census, IMHO.

It’s not just that it’s an invasion of your privacy. It’s that once you’re singled out to get the long form, you always get the long form. You have to answer the same questions for everyone in your household, and in my case, that takes longer than 20 minutes. They also send an updater long form every once in a while, which you get not in a typical census year.

Aside from that, I’d like to know just how it helps plan for future schooling budgets and hospital resources if they don’t count children under five years old? Prime example is a brand new children’s hospital emergency wing at Montefiore in the Bronx. Built 2 times too small because they underestimated the amount of children in the area. (I wonder why)

If the purpose is for district gerrymandering, then say so, and leave the rest of the prying questions out.

Mine go in the garbage until someone rings my bell and makes me answer the questions.

Keep up the good work silenus. Nosy questions don’t stop being nosy because it is the government asking.

The census is required by law and provides much useful data, not only for gov’t. use, but made available to business and to individuals. By being difficult you only increase the cost of conducting the census and possibly skew the results, depriving your community of proper representation and financial support. Like any very large undertaking, there are errors and problems from time to time. That doesn’t mean that it’s not a necessary and useful endeavor.

Governments worldwide (Rwanda, Germany*) have demonstrated that they will do whatever they damned well please with census data, having deemed it in their national interest.

Nice law, in theory. In practice, of course, it didn’t help Japanese Americans in WW2. (cite) So, YES it can, and indeed has, happened in the USA.

*Yes I am familiar with Godwin.

Thank you to everybody who filled out their census form accurately. The data is used by social science researchers to better understand human behavior, US history, the nature and causes of poverty and wealth, family formation and dissolution.

It also helps in the construction of other surveys, both private (eg Gallup public opinion) and public (eg unemployment).

You have assisted us all in the fight against ignorance and have helped build a stronger America. Thank you again.

I sympathize with Citizen 1. Not only is the information required incredibly lengthy (what’s the government going to do with bathroom data–buy the poor more toilets?), but it’s yet another sign of government creeping into our lives. It’s hard to directly affect stuff from “enemy combatants” to inspections at the airports; this is about the only nonviolent way a sole person can combat this. True, the government states it won’t use this data, but as the latest relevations about government misuse of power show that hasn’t stopped them in the past. The people who claim that it’s in our best interests to do this sound way too much like the “why object to illegal searches if you’re not guilty” bunch.
As far as the immediate issue, I also got the long census form. I just failed to fill it out or turn it in. The census bureau called me for about a month, but when I just let the answering machine answer them, they stopped. I’m pretty sure this subject has been on the boards before and that no one could actually list an instance where someone was fined the $100. Even if they do fine you, isn’t it worth it for something that would make Thomas Jefferson proud?

For those of you who delude yourself into think that you’re some kind of social rebel, or political protester, you’re not. You’re just reacting without thought and trying to justify your lack of cooperation by rationalizing your ignorance.
This board if filled w/ questions relating to past generations, their behavior and historical data. Those things ae directly related to our current social and political condition and are vital in future planning. How many children do you have, how many bathrooms are there in your house, how many generations live together, what is your ethnic identity. Those, and many other questions, go toward forming a picture of life, in this country, state, county, city in our generation, just as past censuses have recorded similar data for our use today.
You’re not a rebel, you’re not defending any politcal principle, your just antisocial, selfish and short sighted.
It’s called a society because we all cooperate to the benefit of the whole, it has nothing to do w/ the bill of rights, that’s just your misunderstanding of the difference between rights and responsibilities.

As far as I am concerned, anything beyond a head count is none of the government’s business. A census is not a blanket justification to ask a bunch of nosey questions, social scientists be damned. When someone tells me that the information is confidential, I remind them that it was used to help round up Japanese-Americans during World War II.

Confirmed: The U.S. Census Bureau Gave Up Names of Japanese-Americans in WW II

How exactly does this help or matter to anyone? I understand that some people give a crap (heh) about how many toilets I have but I damn sure dont give a crap about how many anyone has. the form the size of a magazine and its full of pointless questions. I have to agree telling them how many people live here is one thing, filling out a form that supposed to take 40 minutes is insane.

yes I am very private with personal info, yes I am actively distrustful of the government, no I am not a lunatic, I simply dont believe the government has any business with this kind of info.

at this point I its just going into the trash, nothing posted here is convincing at all that I should fill it out. “because its helpful to some people” doesnt convince me.

Read many 12-page magazines? The 2000 long form was 12 pages long, and was estimated to take 38 minutes to complete, including reading the instructions. It had 32 population questions, and 20 housing questions.

mks57, you may want to read post three above yours.

Would that be the same Thomas Jefferson who as president signed into law the bills authorizing the 1804 and 1808 U.S. censuses? The ones where the census results were posted in two public places in each town so that your personal information could be verified or contested by anyone?

As Measure for Measure explained, this information is incredibly useful and interesting to social science researchers. I’ve used census data to support historical research many times. Maybe you don’t think anyone should care how many toilets YOU have, but when that’s aggregated even to the level of a census tract (in a city, this would cover maybe a dozen square blocks), it can be a useful indicator of the neighborhood’s economic status, the age and condition of the housing stock, etc. When that info is combined with, say, the average age, or ethnicity, or nativity, or income level of the inhabitants, or the average rents in the neighborhood, or the average number of inhabitants per home… maybe you can understand how some useful facts would emerge from that.

And guess what, some of us who use this data hate The Man, too. And there’s no better way to prove one’s wild left-wing (or libertarian, or whatever) accusations than with hard, cold, census data. I did a project, for example, where I used census data to objectively show how a city redevelopment agency systematically uprooted a relatively stable and unarguably culturally rich African-American community in the 1960s in order to make way for new housing projects. The census showed me education and income levels in the neighborhood before and after the projects were built, population shifts in the neighborhood by race (i.e. who was displaced to build the projects and who moved into them afterwards)… I learned from the census that even though the neighborhood was racially mixed, only the African-American residents had their homes destroyed. I also learned that education and income levels in the neighborhood still haven’t recovered from the disruption.

Filling out the census isn’t just helping the government. It’s helping cynical social scientists like me understand and prove what the government is screwing up. You might even say it helps us fight ignorance…

Missed edit window: If you’re completely unconvinced by what A. R. Cane rather eloquently pointed out, well, I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

So anyone who disagrees with you is “antisocial, selfish, and short-sighted”? Glad that we’ve got that straightened out.

There are many ways to collect demographic information without using the blunt instrument of the law.

I have worked as an enumerator in the mountains of East Tennessee. Failure to reply meant, send them another form. After 3 tries they sent a person out to talk with them and fill the form out for them. If that failed they sent me. I was the last resort enumerator and was considered totally successful if I managed to get two forms a day completed. When I was chased off the property (sometimes at gunpoint) I returned with a Deputy Sheriff who actually arrested them and made them fill out the form to be released, or they completed the form at their house. I would never do this again, ever.

Yeah, the government just all of a sudden sneaked in, looking for information on you. In 1790.

Of course, then it was a much bigger pain in the ass to gather information, so they just wanted to know where you lived, who your head of household was, how many free white males of age 16+, how many free white males younger than that, how many free white females, all other free persons, and how many slaves.

If it weren’t for the census, we wouldn’t know my grandfather had another brother who died as a child. Grandpa didn’t know that.