Census Nonsense

Like most everyone else, I have been feeling the mild irritation that comes with getting a long questionnaire from the government accompanied by vague threats and even vaguer promises about the importance of filling it out.  Apparently, we should all be eager to take advantage of this chance to get “our fair share.”

Has it really come to that?

Are we so greedy, so eager to get our share of the government pie that the advertising wizards behind this year’s census marketing decided that a naked appeal to greed, and social/cultural divisions was the best motivator to use?  Especially in light of the fact that the “fair share” here is really the fair share of my own tax dollars.

Call me cynical if you must, but my experience hasn’t let me to believe that a lot of those tax dollars are coming back to me.  Especially in light of recent legislative efforts.  So when I see the “fair share” ads, all I can think of is the government urging people to fill out their census so they can be certain to get some of my money.

And when we throw race into the equation, it gets even more complicated.

Because (as this site makes so abundantly clear) race and ethnicity and monetary “fair share” is almost an industry in this country.  And the net effect is not to bring us together, but to deepen racial divisions and resentments.

I highly recommend Sam Slom’s recent article about the census in the Hawaii Reporter about the census.  As Senator Slom points out, the census was originally about the reapportionment of the US House of Representatives.  Not the all-out entitlement grab that it seems to have become.  And by standing by and allowing it to be a more and more intrusive process, we’re basically condoning it.  No, I’m not advocating refusing to fill out your census form.  But I think that everyone who has an issue with big, intrusive government and with the business of federal entitlements and grievances should begin asking questions of their elected representatives about the appropriateness of the ever-expanding census.

And don’t even get me started on what it costs.

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